Baseball players who chose to ‘go to Lotte’ in response to Kim Tae-hyung’s call…”The composition of the coaching staff is fine”
The Lotte Giants are well on their way to assembling a coaching staff to work alongside manager Kim Tae-hyung. Several baseball people have answered the call of Kim Tae-hyung. The Giants are expected to finalize the first and second team coaching staffs for the 2024 season before the end of the final training camp in late November.
After wrapping up the morning session of the final camp at Lotte’s second team training center in Sangdong, Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do, on the 26th, Kim Tae-hyung said, “As for the composition of the coaching staff, there are some people who contacted me directly after I signed with Lotte, and some coaches who told me first that they wanted to work with me. “Coach Kim Min-jae was the first coach I thought of as a head coach from the beginning. He has a lot of experience with defense and baserunning. Coach Joo Hyung-kwang, we never played together, but it wasn’t like we didn’t have a personal relationship.”
Lotte announced on Nov. 22 that it had decided not to re-sign eight coaches for next season, including acting manager Lee Jong-woon, Park Heung-sik, Jeon Jun-ho, Choi Kyung-cheol, Jang Tae-soo, Jung Ho-jin, Kim Dong-han, and Ryan Long.
Earlier, it was reported that the club appointed Kim Tae-hyung as the 21st head coach of the club on the 20th of this month, and the composition of the first and second team coaching staffs also gave Kim a lot of authority.
For the final training, Kim Tae-hyung worked with the coaches who will wear the Lotte jersey next year, including Bae Young-soo, the second team head coach, Moon Kyu-hyun, the first team defense coach, and Kim Hyun-wook, the first team defense coach, to understand the players.
However, the coaching staff that will work together in the spring camp next February and the 2024 regular season is currently undecided. There are media reports that coaches currently working for other teams are expected to join Lotte, but an official announcement from the organization will be made after the postseason.
So far, SSG coach Kim Min-jae has been confirmed to join Lotte. Coach Kim Tae-hyung has expressed his desire to have Kim as his head coach next season. Kim previously assisted Kim Tae-hyung as Doosan’s first team operations coach in 2019 and 2020.
As SSG ended the 2024 season with a loss to the NC Dinos in the third round of the semi-finals on April 25, Kim’s move to Lotte was immediately announced through media reports.
The first-team main pitching coach who will work with Kim will likely be Lotte’s “legend” Joo Hyung-kwang. Joo joined Lotte after graduating from Busan High School in 1994 and has a career record of 87 wins, 82 losses, 9 saves, 22 holds, and a 3.83 ERA in 386 games. In the 1996 season, he went 18-7 with one save in 30 games and a 3.36 ERA with 221 strikeouts, winning the wins and strikeouts titles.
In 1999, the last time Lotte reached the Korean Series, he was an ace with a 13-12 record in 31 games with a 3.98 ERA, including a save in Game 7 of the 1999 playoffs against the Samsung Lions that helped Lotte advance to the Korean Series.
Doosan coaches Ko Young-min and Kim Joo-chan are also expected to join Lotte in November. Ko assisted Kim Tae-hyung as the first base and defense coach from 2019 to last year.
Kim began his coaching career at Doosan after being called up by Kim Tae-hyung after retiring from active duty with the KIA Tigers in 2020. It was his return to his hometown team after 11 years as a player, having joined KIA as a free agent after the 2012 season.
“When I offered to coach Lotte, there were some coaches who said ‘I’ll go’ and some friends who talked about the conditions,” Kim laughed, adding, “The composition of the coaching staff is fine and good.”
Kim Tae-hyung, who led the team for eight years as Doosan’s manager (2015-2022), did not build a “division” as is often said. Even if he wasn’t from the Bears, he would work with them as a first-team coach if he was capable.
At Lotte, the coaching staff that will guide the squad has been assembled to some extent. “Some of the coaching staff has been finalized, but I can’t announce it now,” Kim Tae-hyung said at the inauguration ceremony on the 24th, “There are coaches who have not yet reported to the club. If you wait a little longer, I will tell you,” he said.
The final announcement of Kim Tae-hyung-ho’s coaching staff for the 2024 season is likely to be made after the conclusion of the Korean Series in November. It is expected that some of the coaches from the LG Twins, KT Wiz, NC Dinos, and other teams playing fall baseball will move to Lotte. 굿모닝토토
While the coaching staff is still being organized, Lotte’s final workouts are full of energy. The team is sweating it out from early morning to afternoon in order to put their stamp on their new manager.
The warm weather in Sangdong, Gimhae, is also helping to boost training performance. Temperatures are high enough to train in short sleeves before noon.
Coach Kim Tae-hyung said, “It’s a great day to exercise. The facilities at the secondary stadium are good and the players are working hard,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lotte’s final training session will last until November 30. Most of the rookies and second-team players are participating, except for veterans such as top player Jeon Jun-woo, captain Ahn Chi-hong and Noh Jin-hyuk, who are scheduled to exercise their free agency rights. ‘Top prospect’ Jeon Mi-ro has also begun his first professional training.
Outfielder Yoon Dong-hee, catcher Son Sung-bin, and pitcher Choi Jun-yong, who were named to the final roster for the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC), will continue to train with their teammates in Sangdong before the national team convenes in Daegu on November 5.