‘We are family’: No hard feelings toward pitcher for KBO club manager after injury scare

 Doosan Bears pitcher Raul Alcantara pitches against the KIA Tigers during a Korea Baseball Organization regular-season game at Gwangju-KIA Champions field in Gwangju, May 26. Yonhap

With his ace Raul Alcantara back in action following an injury scare, Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yuop said Tuesday there are no hard feelings toward the Dominican pitcher.

Alcantara, a former 20-game winner in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), complained of elbow pains in late April. After tests at three different clinics showed a strained right elbow, Alcantara chose to travel to the United States in early May to get another opinion.

With the pitcher apparently not trusting results of Korean surgeons and refusing to take the mound until he was cleared by a U.S.-based doctor, Lee had openly expressed his displeasure. Before a game in early May, Lee even told reporters, “I don’t want to talk about him. I am not happy about the situation.”

This led to speculation that the Bears were ready to cut ties with Alcantara. However, tests done in the U.S. also came clean and Alcantara was cleared to pitch. After missing over a month of action, Alcantara pitched 3 1/3 innings against the Kia Tigers on Saturday.

Though Alcantara allowed five runs on three walks and four hits — three of them home runs — Lee said he was pleased with the right-hander’s performance.

“We only expected him to make about 70 pitches, but he ended up getting close to 80. He felt he would then be ready to throw 100 pitches the next time,” Lee told reporters before hosting the KT Wiz at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. “Obviously, we couldn’t expect him to be as 온라인카지노 good as he had been earlier in the season, after he was away for over a month. He had some control issues and his pitches didn’t have much life. But at least he felt fine afterward. We still have about 90 games left this season, and we think he will be back to being himself soon.”

Before hitting the sidelines, Alcantara had been 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA.

Lee also insisted he didn’t mean any ill when he refused to discuss Alcantara’s situation earlier, nor did he intend to send any message to the pitcher.

“I said those words because that’s exactly how I felt at the time. And now that he’s back, my feelings have changed,” Lee said with a smile. “We are family.”

Lee, a KBO legend who spent eight years in Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, said he knows all too well how difficult it is to be a foreigner playing baseball in a different country.

“Our foreign players all have to try to help the team, and our job as coaching staff is to help them be successful,” Lee said. “Those players all have important roles here, and our job is to help them the best we can.”

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