After snapping a two-game losing streak and reporting two wins, the Hanwha Eagles are looking to ‘break out’ once again. This week, they will look to continue their rebounding momentum against the Lotte Giants and Kiwoom Heroes.
Hanwha dropped back to 10th place in the league last week after a three-game losing streak against the fifth-place Doosan Bears and a two-game winning streak against the LG Twins. Amidst Hanwha’s up-and-down performance, the previously 10th-ranked KT Wiz pushed them out of the top 10 with a four-game winning streak.
As of the 10th of this month, after a two-game series against LG, Hanwha had a record of 4 wins, 6 losses, and 0 draws. Hanwha tasted the frustration of dropping down the standings after losing a three-game series against Doosan on Aug. 8, before winning two in a row against LG on Aug. 10.
However, it remains to be seen how this will affect their future performance as they struggle to find a replacement for foreign slugger Brian O’Grady, who was released just two months into the league.
Hanwha requested O’Grady’s waiver from the Korea Baseball Development Board (KBD) on March 31. The move comes six weeks after the team parted ways with foreign pitcher Butch Smith, who went down with an injury on March 19.
O’Grady was signed by Hanwha with the expectation that he could hit for power, but he has struggled this season, batting .125 in 22 games. Choi removed him from the first-team roster last month, forcing him to pack his bags.
However, there has been no news of a replacement for O’Grady.
On July 7, Choi revealed that the team is struggling to find a foreign batsman. In fact, Hanwha reportedly contacted a number of candidates, but were unable to reach an agreement due to various reasons, including major league call-ups and disagreements over contract terms. As a result, Hanwha is facing a situation where they will have to play without a foreign bat.
“American (minor league) clubs have reduced the size of their rosters due to COVID-19,” Choi said, “so they are not willing to give up their players. There are realistic difficulties.”
However, Sanchez, who replaced Butch Smith in the Hanwha uniform on April 20, has been performing well. Most notably, on April 10 against LG, Sanchez threw a near-perfect game, allowing two hits and two walks over eight innings with eight strikeouts and no runs on 112 pitches. His 112th fastball was so powerful that it reached 151 kilometers per hour. Hanwha had won all six of Sanchez’s starts, who was 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA.먹튀검증
With the addition of an outside pitcher, Hanwha could be in line for a rebound.
Against this backdrop, Hanwha will be looking for back-to-back wins against the Lotte Giants and Kiwoom Heroes this week.
They will face Lotte in Busan for a three-game series on the 13th, and then welcome Kiwoom home on the 16th. Hanwha has a 1-4 record against Lotte and a 2-3 record against Kiwoom.