Samsung, No. 10 in June after six years, has no breakout, no future

The Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) are 27-42 with a winning percentage of 0.391, 10th out of 10 teams in the league. Samsung is 2-8 in its last 10 games, which is the worst winning percentage among the 10 teams. Its winning percentage in June is also tied for the lowest with the Lotte Giants (7-16).스포츠토토

Samsung, an original member of the KBO since 1982, is the only club in the league’s 40-year history that has never finished in last place. Five years ago, in May 2018, they were also in last place, but rebounded midway through the season to finish in sixth place. It’s been six years since the last place finish in June, on June 20, 2017, and Samsung avoided last place that year as well, finishing ninth.

For the “prestigious” Samsung, which ranks second all-time behind the KIA Tigers with eight KBO league titles and has won four consecutive combined regular season-Korean Series titles since the early 2010s, this season’s “turnaround” is unlikely to be easy.

Since 2016, Samsung has failed to make it to fall baseball for six seasons, except for 2021, when it finished third, and has managed to keep its pride alive by narrowly avoiding the bottom of the standings. This year, however, Samsung is the only triple-digit winning percentage team among the current 10 teams. The Hanwha Eagles, who were in last place for three straight years until last year, are also on a five-game winning streak and are 28-37-4 with a .431 winning percentage, just two games behind Samsung for their first mid-table finish in four years.

Samsung’s offense has been stymied this season by an injury to Koo Ja-rook, who has led the batting order since spring training, and the loss of trusted “veteran” Oh Jae-il. The team batted .252, ranking ninth. In addition, the bullpen, including Oh Seung-hwan, who hasn’t looked like the pitcher he was in his prime, has struggled, and Samsung’s team ERA is 4.77, the lowest among the 10 clubs. Even in the Futures (second division) league, the team’s future looks bleak.

It will be interesting to see how Samsung legend Park Jin-man, who took over as manager in the second half of last season and led the team to seventh place with a record of 28 wins and 22 losses in 50 games, can lead the team out of the darkest period in the franchise’s 41-year history.

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