On August 17, the Lotte Giants announced the retirement of left-handed pitcher Cha Woo-chan (36). He has been rehabilitating since undergoing left shoulder surgery in September 2021, but he has not reached 100% recovery and has taken off his uniform. Cha Woo-chan, who was born in 1987 and entered the professional league in 2006, is the same age as Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto), a left-handed pitcher. Kim Kwang-hyun (SSG) and Yang Hyun-jong (KIA) are one year younger. Cha Woo-chan started later than them, who have been in the spotlight since he was a rookie, but he set a big record of 112 wins in two clubs, the Samsung Lions and the LG Twins, and 1,413, the 10th in KBO history. 토토
Cha Woo-chan was not a pitcher who started from the beginning. He distinguished himself as a middle pitcher and switched to the starting lineup. He became a relief pitcher again and went up to the ace as a starter. Cha Woo-chan said, “When I saw the three players (Ryu Hyun-jin, Kim Kwang-hyun, and Yang Hyun-jong), I thought I wanted to select them, but at that time, I was not good enough. “I gained experience little by little and gained the starting position by competing,” he recalled when he was young.
Cha Woo-chan was a splitter (change-up in his own words) who learned in his late 20s after experiencing various experiences. Cha Woo-chan said, “I’ve been practicing since I was young because left-handed pitchers need changeups when dealing with right-handed hitters. However, when I threw as a bullpen pitcher, I couldn’t throw it because I wasn’t confident in the change-up. “I think I got used to it when I became a starting pitcher and started throwing changeups comfortably,” he said about Splitter.
Cha Woo-chan’s splitter threw with a deep two-seam grip, not a finger completely stuck. Thanks to the pitch, Cha Woo-chan, whose pitching pattern has widened, could induce a swing and miss with a high fastball, and in 2015, he became the strikeout king with 194 strikeouts. Cha Woo-chan humbly looks back on himself, saying, “I was not a pitcher with a bad stomach and good control.” He was an excellent pitcher who handled the batter calmly in the presence of a runner. It was also a product of crisis management ability as a middle pitcher.
Cha Woo-chan was also good at keeping in check. In the match against the SK Wyverns on August 4, 2016, he recorded as many SK Wyverns. Regarding the check movement, Cha Woo-chan said, “I tried to check a lot because the quick motion was not fast. Jeon Byung-ho, who was in Samsung’s time, was good at checking, so I learned a lot of kicking and head movements and practiced a lot in the camp,” he explained why he became good at checking. Cha Woo-chan always overcame his weaknesses through efforts and became a necessary pitcher for the national team.
Cha Woo-chan also participated in the Asian Games and the Olympics, twice in the WBC, Premier 12. Experience in various positions helped in such a big stage. “All the roles in the international competition were in the middle. “I made my professional debut in the middle, so I was able to warm up quickly and throw comfortably.” Cha Woo-chan’s virtually final pitch was a relief appearance against the Dominican Republic, the third-place match at the Tokyo Olympics, on August 7, 2021. In Japan, a press conference will be held immediately when Cha Woo-chan-class players announce their retirement, but in Korea, it is common to end with a comment announcement. In addition, Lotte, which moved this year, did not have a mound, making it difficult to create such an opportunity. In front of Samsung or LG fans, I think it would be good if Cha Woo-chan had a chance to say goodbye. There is only one match left between the two teams this season in Jamsil on September 28.