“To be the exclusive catcher for a pitcher from the major leagues is such an honor.”
Samsung Lions catcher Lee Byeong-hun (24) this season is playing an active role as the exclusive catcher for foreign pitcher Albert Suarez (34). His joint performance with Suarez in three games was 21 innings, 4 runs (3 earned), and an average ERA of 1.29. Suarez and a special breath continued.
Lee Byung-hun, who started the season as the 4th backup catcher following Kang Min-ho, Kim Tae-goon and Kim Jae-seong, has now proudly demonstrated his potential as an exclusive catcher for foreign aces. Since the appointment of manager Park Jin-man, Samsung has avoided a dedicated catcher system, but Lee Byung-hun, who worked well with Suarez, was an exception.
It was an emotional experience for Lee Byung-hun himself as well. For him, who needs experience, working with veteran pitcher Suarez is of great help not only in his grades but also in his growth. Lee Byung-hun said, “Isn’t he a player who has experience in the major leagues? Personally, it is a great honor to play a game while breathing with such a great player. It’s really special and I’m learning a lot.”
He is still running the game according to the pitch Suarez wants rather than his own lead. However, Suarez is also giving Lee Byung-hun a lot of advice to boost his confidence and self-esteem. Suarez has already established himself as a ‘mom’ among Samsung players. Even though the position is different, Lee Byung-hun, who works together, is helping his growth with warm encouragement and advice.
Lee Byung-hun said, “Suarez always makes me feel comfortable. He always encourages me by saying, ‘Don’t worry and have fun with confidence, there will be good results,’ and I feel comfortable.” Lee Byung-hun said, “When you play a game, aren’t there many times when the pitcher himself doesn’t work out well due to various bad luck. But Suarez always seems to be at ease. He said, ‘He’s always thinking about the next pitch.’ He is learning a lot from these efforts and know-how.”
Is it the influence of Suarez, the ‘positive king’? Lee Byung-hun’s ‘positive smile’ also became thicker than before. He said, “Baseball is really fun these days,” and he said, “The condition and mood are very good. He continued to smile brightly, saying, “I am learning a lot while playing baseball with my seniors.