Jang Won-jun (38) left the field. The ‘dynasty’ color of the Doosan Bears mound is fading.
Jang Won-jun officially announced his retirement on the 28th. His debut at the Lotte Giants in 2004, he ended the season with 132 wins and 119 losses over 20 years.
Jang Won-jun was the starting point for Doosan to advance to the Korean Series (KS) for seven consecutive years. He moved to Doosan as a free agent in 2015 and recorded 12 wins, 12 losses and an ERA of 4.08 in his first year, then played as a one-two punch with Dustin Nippert in the postseason (PS). The contribution of the two pitchers was critical to Doosan, which was in third place that year, achieving a come-from-behind victory.
Jang Won-jun set a career high with 15 wins, 6 losses, and an ERA of 3.32 in 2016, and 14 wins, 9 losses, and an ERA of 3.14 in 2017. During the three years that Jang Won-Jun was active, Doosan made it to the KS three times and won twice.
He performed poorly in 2018 with 3 wins, 7 losses, and an ERA of 9.92. In the four years since, they have not achieved a single win. He was one win away from 130 wins and continued to stagnate due to slumps and injuries. Eventually, after the end of last year, there were rumors of his retirement.
However, after meeting with new Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop, Jang Won-jun decided to play for one more year. At the time, Coach Lee said, “A player with 129 wins has no intention of retiring, but if the team tells him to quit, he should look for another team. If not, he will have to retire in disgrace.” He said, “Let’s give it a try without regrets.” Next year is “I hope you compete with your juniors with the determination that this will be your last time,” he said.
There was no miraculous resurrection. However, he reached an unsatisfactory end. Jang Won-jun appeared in only 11 games this season, recording 3 wins, 5 losses, and an average ERA of 5.27. He succeeded in starting the pitch, which he had not been able to do since 2020 due to health and position problems. It worked to increase the number of hits by lowering his arm angle and using two-seam fastballs instead of four-seam fastballs. He added 3 wins this year and reached 130 wins in 4 years. Whenever there was a gap in his starting lineup, he showed great performance and helped Doosan take 5th place. It was a report card that was neither insufficient nor excessive enough to leave regrets.
Jang Won-jun said, “The choice to leave my beloved field was never easy. However, I thought it was time to quit baseball, so I made this decision. I feel relieved because I achieved the final goals I personally set. However, when I think of my juniors, I rarely lose my pace. “There are many talented juniors on our team, so I will support them to train diligently and lead the team to a leap forward,” he said.굿모닝토토 주소
As Jang Won-jun said, there are not many veterans in their 30s on the Doosan mound. Kim Kang-ryul and Hong Geon-hee have acquired free agency rights, so their future plans next year are unknown. Choi Won-jun, who is still in his 20s, won a total of 30 games over the three years from 2020 to last year, but he also performed poorly this year with 3 wins, 10 losses, and an ERA of 4.93. Pitching coach Jeong Jae-hoon, a member of the franchise, is also transferring to the KIA Tigers.
Jang Won-jun’s retirement converges with Doosan’s generational change keyword. For Doosan, Kwak Bin developed into a national team pitcher this season, and Choi Seung-yong and Kim Dong-ju showed their presence. They achieved better results than the field team, which had no new faces. However, he has not yet been able to show the colors of ‘Lee Seung-yeop’. Now, a truly new Doosan must be created.