Jose Rojas, a foreign hitter for the Doosan Bears, launched a signal flare to escape from sluggishness.
Doosan broke up with José Miguel Fernandez, who had been with him for four years after the end of last season, and in October of last year pointed out Rojas as a new foreign hitter. It was because he was good at producing mid- to long-distance batted balls based on a stable hitting mechanism. Here, the wide defensive range that can digest not only left and right outfields but also second and third basemen also played a role.
Even during the trial period, Doosan’s choice seemed reasonable. Lohas, who started 11 exhibition games, posted 12 hits and 1 home run in 30 at-bats, raising expectations for his performance in the regular season. Afterwards, in the opening game of the regular league against the Lotte Giants on the 1st, he led Doosan to a 12-10 victory by operating 3 stores to end the comeback.
However, since then, Lohas has fallen into a deep slump. He was 2-for-16 in the previous five games until the 21st, and was sluggish. As a result, he missed the match against the LG Twins on the 16th (Doosan 10-5 win), and on the 19th against the Hanwha Eagles (6-7 Doosan loss), he hit his third home run of the season, but in the top of the 9th inning, which was the match, 1 out 2. He also went through the humiliation of being replaced with pinch hitter Shin Seong-hyun on the base.
Then, LOHAS finally prepared an opportunity for a rebound. In the home game against KT Wiz held on the 21st at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, he started as the 6th hitter and left fielder and recorded 2 hits, 1 home run, 1 RBI and 3 runs in 4 at-bats, taking the lead in the team’s 10-6 victory. Ahead of this game, Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “Lohas’s (feeling of hitting) must live. He’s a little off-timing, gets a lot of hands on bad balls, but I think he’ll definitely get better. He is actually getting better,” he said. “Seeing how he trains today (21st), it seems to be getting better. He has to get better,” he said, encouraging him, and it was an activity that perfectly lived up to this.
Although it was a bum tie, Rojas, who tuned the feel of the hit by making a well-hit left field fly ball in the first at-bat at the end of the second inning, succeeded in reaching base for the first time thanks to luck after one out in the bottom of the fourth inning. He hit center fielder Fly Sung, and the ball went into the glove of opponent center fielder Jung Joon-young and then flowed out. The official record is a catch error. After reaching third base with Kang Seung-ho and Yang Chan-yeol’s consecutive hits, he scored a run on Ahn Jae-seok’s sacrifice fly to left field.
Rojas’s bat turned fiercely in the bottom of the 5th inning when the team was leading 5-1. After two outs, he received a 3-ball fastball from opponent starting pitcher Bae Seong-seong and drew a solo arch that went over the right wall. It was his fourth home run of the season after two games since the match against Hanwha on the 19th, and it was a shot that perfectly brought the atmosphere to Doosan.
Rojas, who gained momentum, completed a multi-hit by hitting 3 pitches from opposing bullpen pitcher Cho Yi-hyeon at the bottom of the 7th inning with 1 out and 1 base. Yang Chan-yeol’s two RBIs and a timely triple hit home and scored the third run.
Rojas, who met with reporters after the game, said, “Recently, my performance has not been good, but baseball is a sport that has good times and bad times. I tried to focus on each at-bat,” he confessed.
At the same time, he said about the situation where he hit a home run at the end of the 5th inning, “I expected a high ball to some extent. Recently, a lot of work has been put into that course and I have been thinking about it. He focused on the entire strike zone,” he explained.
Lohas’ rebound came with advice from Doosan Hitting Coach Koji Goto. He said, “Coach Goto said I was trying to do too much. “(As a result) the batting balance has improved, and (now) I think I can make a good swing no matter which course the ball comes from,” he said.
Finally, when asked how well he has adapted to the KBO League, Rojas said, “No matter where you play baseball, you always have to adapt.메이저놀이터 (But) I think perfecting the adaptation is an unattainable goal. I’m not comparing it to the league I played in the past, but since I’m playing in Korea, I’m focusing on every game,” he said. “The goal to achieve good results is the same. I will work hard to achieve this,” he stressed.