“The Japanese professional baseball experience must have been a good study.”
Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop was certain of the revival of ace Raul Alcantara (31) after returning from training on the 4th day of spring camp held at Blacktown International Sports Park in Sydney, Australia on the 4th.
Alcantara had its first bullpen pitching of spring camp with new foreign pitcher Dylan Pyle on the same day. Forming a battery with the main catcher Yang Eui-ji, they tested fastballs and forkballs, and raised the pace by throwing 25 balls lightly. Yang Eui-ji, who received Alcantara’s ball for the first time, exclaimed, “Good, good, very good.”
How did coach Lee Seung-yeop view the Ace’s first bullpen pitching? Coach Lee said, “The ball was good. It’s still early in camp, but it was okay for a first time. First of all, being healthy is the most important thing,” he said. “As a commentator in the past, I watched Alcantara’s pitching, but since I left Doosan and spent two years in a higher league, I can’t say my skills have deteriorated. He also looked at the age of 32 in Korea, which can be seen as the best time to throw the ball.”
After winning 11 wins at KT in the 2019 season, Alcantara moved to Doosan the following year and pitched 20-2 with an average ERA of 2.54 and 182 strikeouts with a WHIP of 1.03 in 31 games and 198⅔ innings. He achieved quality starts in 27 out of 31 games, ranked first in wins, win rate, and quality starts, second in innings and strikeouts, third in WHIP, and fourth in earned run average. 안전놀이터
Thanks to this, Alcantara signed a contract with the Hanshin Tigers for 2 years and 4 million dollars (approximately 5.4 billion won) in the 2021 season and embarked on a study trip to Japan. However, there was no Japan Dream. After two seasons of 63 matches, 4 wins, 6 losses, 1 save, 23 holds, an average ERA of 3.96 (97⅔ innings, 43 ERA), after the 2022 season was over, he was notified of his release. Unlike the KBO League, in Japan, the position was changed to the bullpen and only 7 out of 63 games were started.
However, the national hitter did not see Alcantara’s life in Japan as a failure. Instead, I looked at the two years as the time he grew up. Manager Lee, who played an active role in Nippon Professional Baseball from 2004 to 2011, said, “Japan is a higher league than us. You can see this by looking at Jose Pirella (Samsung). In terms of hardware, our players are good, but the reality is that Japanese baseball is ahead of the details,” he said. It was difficult when I went to Japan after experiencing baseball in Korea because I cut and watched the ball I had to swing. Angel Sanchez, who played for SK, was like that.”
That’s not to say there aren’t any concerns at all. Problems may arise with his fitness, as he has played virtually all two seasons out of the bullpen rather than as a starter. Coach Lee said, “One thing I am worried about is that Alcantara has focused on midfielder pitches for the past two years. It would be nice if our team checked the stamina part. Instead, it is true that I studied well and came here.”
Pitching coach Jeong Jae-hoon, who watched Alcantara from close range, had the same opinion. Coach Jung said, “Alcantara seems to have become a pitcher that is a little closer to completion than in 2020. At that time, he was a pitcher who only used his strength, so if he threw 156km and the early 150km range came out, he was hit,” he said.