When the Samsung Lions announced the trade on April 27, infielder Lee Won-seok (37) and right-hander Kim Tae-hoon (31), in exchange for the 2024 rookie draft 3rd round pick, to the Kiwoom Heroes, fans were not easily convinced. At the time of the trade, Lee Won-seok played an active role as the team’s central hitter, recording a batting average of 0.362 (21 hits in 58 at-bats), 1 home run, 10 RBIs, and an on-base percentage of 0.486 in 19 games. He was fourth in batting average and first in on-base percentage. Although it was urgent to reinforce the bullpen, which ranked 8th in ERA (4.93) during the same period, a question mark was attached because Lee Won-seok’s performance was so outstanding and there was a lack of reliable resources to replace him immediately. ㅋㅋㅋ벳
However, Samsung had confidence in Kim Tae-hoon. At the time, a key official from the Samsung team added, “Thanks to Lee Won-seok’s good performance in the beginning, we were able to bring in a good bullpen pitcher.” The decision was made because it was judged that the reinforcement of the bullpen was much more urgent than the loss of the infielder.
That choice is right. Wearing a Samsung uniform, Kim Tae-hoon recorded 1 win and 2 saves in 3 games (3.1 innings) in April and did not allow a single point. On April 27, the day of his trade, against the Daegu Doosan Bears, he reported his first save of the season with perfect pitching in one inning. The next day, against KT Wiz in Suwon, he took the mound with the bases full and was hit with a sweeping double and made a blown save, but calmly settled the situation and led the victory. On April 30th, against Suwon KT, he finished a 1-0 victory in the 10th inning with a scoreless score in one inning.
Samsung’s bullpen concerns were deep. He replaced Oh Seung-hwan with left-hander Lee Seung-hyeon, but when that didn’t work, he started a three-man finisher system, including Woo Kyu-min. However, he erased his worries by recruiting Kim Tae-hoon. Lee Seung-hyun, who was under a lot of pressure, also recovered his condition, earning saves in all three appearances in the last minute of April. Attention is focused on Samsung’s move, which has become freer from its biggest worries.