He made the perfect comeback in a LG Twins uniform via trade. He will become a free agent for the first time in his career after this season. Ham Duk-ju, 28, was a key member of the LG Twins’ bullpen. However, you won’t see him in the pennant race anymore this season. The reason: an elbow injury.
LG Twins manager Yoon Kyung-yeop spoke to reporters on Tuesday after the team’s game against KT in Suwon was canceled due to rain. “(Ham) Duk-joo still has a lot of inflammation in his elbow, so it will be difficult for him to play in the (remaining) pennant race,” Yoon said.
“I told him to get some rest because if he doesn’t push himself, he’ll have a chance to use it in the postseason. The inflammation should be gone, but when I checked it the day before (on the 19th), it was still watery and inflamed. We’re treating it with medication. I threw some balls in the middle, but the inflammation didn’t go away completely, so I stopped pitching.”
A graduate of Wonju University, Ham Deok-ju was drafted by the Doosan Bears in the fifth round (43rd overall) of the 2013 rookie draft. He then moved to LG via trade in the 2021 season. In 16 games that year, Ham went 1-2 with a 4.29 ERA and one save. He struggled with an elbow injury and only pitched 21 innings. He underwent season-ending surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow.
After struggling to rehabilitate last year, pitching only 12⅔ innings (13 games), Ham Deok-ju made a perfect comeback this season, giving LG fans plenty to believe in. He went 4-0 with four saves, 16 holds, and a 1.62 ERA this season. In a total of 55⅔ innings, he allowed 32 hits (1 home run), 22 walks, 59 strikeouts, 12 runs (10 earned), a WHIP of 0.97, and a batting average of 0.165. Most importantly, Ham Deok-ju anchored the bullpen in the early part of the season when the original LG trio of Lee Jung-yong, Jung Woo-young, and Woo-seok were shaken by injuries and poor performance.
However, it was also true that his pitching motion strained his elbow. If you look at his pitching motion, you can see that there is a ‘twisting motion’ in his pitching left arm. This made it difficult for him to throw the ball as a starter in the future. The more he throws, the harder it is on his elbow. In July, Yeom said of Ham Deok-ju, “His pitching mechanics are such that he could suffer damage as a starter. (Ham) has a ‘twisting motion’ (before throwing the ball). If he throws more pitches as a starter, his speed may decrease.”토토사이트
In the end, the NC game on Aug. 26 will be the last game of this year’s pennant race for Ham Deok-ju. He was subsequently removed from the first team roster on August 29. Still, there is hope. This season, Ham Deok-ju has made himself more valuable as a “prospective free agent,” and fall baseball awaits. LG fans are eagerly anticipating that he will return healthy and pitch strong in the postseason.