Lotte coach Larry Sutton recalled that Cha Woo-chan (36), who announced his official retirement on the 17th, showed a strong desire to recover from the camp. Even the veteran knew he couldn’t throw the ball the way he used to. But he wanted at least a chance to finish with honor.안전놀이터
On the 17th, ahead of the resignation SSG match, Sutton recalled, “I saw my face for the first time during camp and spent time together. I burned my will to take care of my body with enthusiasm since camp.” We talked about wanting to have a nice finish by pushing the state.” However, such a wonderful finish did not come to Cha Woo-chan. Eventually, he announced his retirement without ever returning to the first team.
The Lotte club announced the news of Cha Woo-chan’s retirement on the 17th. The Lotte team added, “I thought that this year would be the last, and I prepared hard from spring camp to the middle of the season, but my physical condition and condition did not keep up with me, so I decided to retire.” Cha Woo-chan, who had a shoulder injury and even undergone surgery, diligently rehabilitated with the goal of returning in the second half of this year, but the broken shoulder condition has not returned.
There were times when he was steadily rehabilitated and progressed well, but on June 10, he pitched one inning in a match against SSG 2nd Division in the Futures League, the last record of an official appearance. Director Sutton said, “I did my best to build my body, but my body didn’t come up better than I thought, so I made the decision to retire.” “An athlete can’t retire for the rest of his life. However, announcing retirement is not an easy task for anyone.”
Cha Woo-chan, who graduated from Gunsan Commercial High School and was nominated in the 2nd 1st round (7th overall) by Samsung in 2006, was a promising player who struggled with chronic control problems in the early days of his debut. He debuted in the first team in 2006, but had an average ERA of 6.11 in 23 games in 2007, 4.17 ERA in 25 games in 2008, and an average ERA of 6.09 in 42 games in 2009. However, as a result of his steady efforts, he began to emerge as an important pitcher in the team from 2010.
Cha Woo-chan, who was able to throw a fast ball in the mid-140 km/h range with his left hand, and equipped with a heavy pitch and slider, played an active part as Anycall on the Samsung Mound. Sometimes as a starter, sometimes in the bullpen, he added strength to the team mound and played as the core power of the ‘Samsung Dynasty’. Although he had some ups and downs, there is no dispute that he was a player who played diligently without major injuries.
As a result, ahead of the 2017 season, he reached his heyday by signing a large free agent (FA) contract with LG, which was in a hurry for a left-handed ace, for a total of 9.5 billion won over 4 years. After transferring to LG, he did his part faithfully, winning 10 wins in 2017, 12 wins in 2018, and 13 wins in 2019.
Cha Woo-chan’s sincerity did not shine only in his team. He was also a regular customer of the national team. He was a player favored by many national team coaches because of his good pitch, guts, and versatility.
He participated in the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC), 2014 Incheon Asian Games, 2015 Premier 12, 2017 WBC, and 2019 Premier 12, and dedicated himself to the team wearing the Taegeuk mark. However, many pointed out that it was unreasonable to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in 2021 due to Corona 19), which was his last national championship.
Cha Woo-chan had a problem with his left shoulder, and this problem started to bother him in earnest from 2020. It is also for this reason that he only pitched in 13 games in 2020. In 2021, when he was just about to spread his rehabilitation wings after playing in five games, he was selected for the national team, and Cha Woo-chan could no longer throw the ball in the first team after being selected.
It is known that Cha Woo-chan personally had a great desire to participate in the Olympics, but as a result, Cha Woo-chan disappeared from our eyes after this starting point. For this reason, there are voices criticizing the decision to borrow at the time. As a result, LG also suffered considerable losses.
Cha Woo-chan has never appeared on the first team stage in 2022. Lotte, who was in a hurry with a lefty, expected Cha Woo-chan to come back in the second half of the year and signed a contract for an annual salary of 50 million won, but it is known that Cha Woo-chan was also under great stress as the rehabilitation period was prolonged. In the end, he announced his retirement on the 17th, judging that it would be difficult for him to be competitive any longer.
Cha Woo-chan is a lefty with 112 wins in the KBO League. Although he was not as flashy as Ryu Hyun-jin, Kim Gwang-hyun, and Yang Hyeon-jong, he played 457 games and faithfully built his own record. He is a regrettable player who disappears like this without greeting. In the midst of a somewhat futile retirement, there is interest in whether Cha Woo-chan will have a chance to say goodbye to his fans.