Is it the bad grades…the nervous millionaire who keeps getting them?
A foreign player is sitting in the dugout waiting for his batting order and is very nervous. His teammates pull up a seat next to him so he can have some alone time.
This is Doosan Rojas. Rojas started as the No. 7 designated hitter in the away game against the Kiwoom Heroes of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on April 24. Rojas was nervous before the game, but once the game started, he began to take some time for himself.
Taking a seat behind the dugout, Rojas fiddled with his bat and thought about the opposing pitcher. His confidence had been shaken by a string of poor performances. He had recently returned from an adjustment period after being sent down to the Futures League. But even after returning to the first team, he couldn’t get a hit. His batting average had dropped to .201, and the normally jovial Rojas had lost his smile.
Rojas was cautious from his first at-bat in the third inning. The Kiwoom batter was relentless with a fastball, his weakness, but Rojas wasn’t going to back down. He worked a seven-pitch count and took a 134-mph changeup. It was a hit, but it was an unfortunate hit that was caught in a defensive shift. It was a good pitch, and the Doosan coaches clapped and encouraged Rojas. But he couldn’t keep his head up.
In the top of the fifth inning, Rojas finally got a hit in his second at-bat. Once again, the Kiwoom Battery was only using fastballs. This time, though, he didn’t fall for it. On three pitches, he pulled a 145-kilometer fastball for an infield single to first base. It was his first hit in 18 days. He then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Kim Jae-ho and a single by Jeong Soo-bin. But there was no smile on Rojas’ face as he high-fived his teammates in the dugout. He was still not satisfied.
Rojas knows what the team expects of him and how to deliver. But when it doesn’t happen, he’s not only frustrated, he’s losing confidence.
Doosan signed a new foreign player for this season who is not a league hitter.
Fernandez, who was with the team until last year, had a .328 batting average (2206-for-723), 57 home runs, and 351 RBIs in 568 career KBO games. Last year, he was a triple-digit hitter for the fourth straight year with a .309 batting average. He was a proven hitter who produced the second-most hits of any foreigner in KBO history. However, Doosan chose Rojas over Fernandez.
Doosan had high hopes for Rojas. They had high hopes for Rojas, signing him to fill the $1 million cap for new foreign players. But as time went on, Doosan’s hopes turned to disappointment. Rojas made a strong impact with a game-winning home run in the opening game, but he fell apart after exposing weaknesses in his lineup.카지노
One of the things Doosan was hoping for from Rojas was reliable contact, but it turned out to be the opposite. Unexpectedly, he can hit for power, but his contact ability is significantly lower. He was supposed to be an upgraded version of Fernandez, who led the league in hits two years in a row.
It’s a tough situation, but Doosan needs to keep Rojas alive somehow. In 11 exhibition games, Rojas batted .400. There’s plenty of room for him to bounce back.