It took him a whopping 1844 days to get to 129 wins and one loss, but his next start was a long time coming. After a long wait with the Futures (2nd team), Jang Won-jun (38-Dusan Bears) has another chance.
Jang Won-jun will start the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against the Hanwha Eagles at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on June 6, starting at 2 pm.
With the departure of Dylan Pyle and the homegrown ace duo of Kwak-Bin and Choi Won-Joon, the opportunity is here again. It’s a must-win situation for Jang Won-jun and the team.
His first start of the season, on March 23, left a lasting impression. Five innings, 70 pitches, seven hits, four walks, and four runs. On paper, it didn’t look like anything special, but the reality was different.
After striking out the side in the first inning, Jang was a little shaky in the second inning, allowing four runs, but he pitched cleanly after that. His fastball was clocked at 140 kilometers per hour. Catcher Yang Ji-soo said that 140 kilometers was a game changer, and the two-seam fastball he got from the second team was a force to be reckoned with. He had a sharp slider, a changeup, and most importantly, the ability to put the ball where he wanted it.
Manager Lee Seung-yeop was pleased. “Even in the dugout, I wanted Jang Won-jun to pitch well,” he said, “and even if you look at it from the 안전놀이터 side, it’s true that the juniors pushed hard for him.” “You can’t play a season with just young players. Even if it’s not a role of going out there and hitting well and throwing well, just having a veteran in the dugout gives the younger players a boost.”
The opportunity was not guaranteed, however. Lee had indicated that he would be waiting in the wings as a backup, but after a series of strong performances by the starters, Jang was sent back to the second team.
He waited patiently for his chance. Dillon is still far from returning, and Choi Won-jun and Kwak Bin, who had been pitching well, are out. Even Kim Dong-joo and Choi Seung-yong had recently collapsed in the last three innings. It’s Jang Won-jun’s time again and he needs to capitalize on this opportunity.
The key will be if he can pitch like he did in his first start. Jang is 10th on the all-time wins list with 130 career wins. Narrowing it down to starts, he has 128 wins, just three behind Bae Young-soo (131). More importantly, this result could determine whether or not he gets more opportunities in the future.