Hanwha is transforming, moving from selfless to selfish ‘happiness defender’

“Happy defense” was one of the catchphrases that followed the Korean baseball team. It wasn’t really a happy defense. It was more of a sarcasm that stuck with the team when they came up with a “wacky defense” that benefited the opposing team.

Hanwha is gradually changing the concept of “happy defense”. This season, they’re creating more competitive defensive metrics than in years past.

Hanwha has been at the center of a “defense issue” every time since the 2010s. In 2021, the first season of Carlos Subero’s tenure, the team used extreme defensive shifts to boost its fielding efficiency (DER) – the percentage of outs on batted balls in play – to 0.691, good for second in the division. The previous season, Hanwha’s DER was 0.668, which ranked eighth.

However, while she often threw out hard-hit balls with her powerful shift, she made fewer mistakes in handling ordinary balls. In 2021, they still had 108 errors on the season, tied with Kiwoom for the most among the 10 teams.

This year, the two defensive metrics are moving together. With 29 errors on the season, they are below the 10-team average of 31. They are ranked fifth in terms of fewest errors. Their fielding percentage is 0.690, which ranks third.

But the May numbers are even better. Since May, Hanwha has jumped to second place with a fielding percentage of 0.700 and has made only 12 errors, good for fourth place.

One hint: it’s on the mound. Fielding percentage usually correlates with pitching performance. When a pitcher’s pitches are harder to hit, the bats tend to be duller and weaker. Hanwha ranks sixth in team ERA at 0.390 this season and fourth at 3.38 since May. While they are fourth in the order in terms of ERA since May, they are at the top of the list, not far behind LG (3.13).

Another is a change in approach to strengthening the defense. Under Subero, who took the helm until the past 11 days, Hanwha has made small changes to its defensive training. Last year, Hanwha slipped back to eighth in defensive efficiency (0.676). This season, in addition to the team tactic of defensive shifts, the team has been focusing more on individual defense. For example, it became routine for third baseman Noh Si-hwan to rush out before the game and receive a ping.

Under new manager Choi Won-ho, the team is focusing more on individual defense. However, he has cut down on shifts with runners in scoring position, which will be evidenced by the cumulative number of games played. For now, the overall defense metrics remain in the ideal direction.메이저사이트

The addition of free agents such as Moon Hyun-bin, a rookie who can not only hit but also play defense, Oh Sun-jin, who is known for his defensive stability, and Chae Eun-sung, who can not only hit but also play defense, has already made a positive impact.

For a long time, Hanwha’s “happy defense” talked about selfless happiness. It’s clear that Hanwha is turning that uncomfortable tide over the hump of recent years. The goal is a “Happiness Defense” of the Hanwha Beasts, by Hanwha fans, for Hanwha fans. The conceptual change of “Happiness Defense” is gaining momentum.

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