A healthy palate is a bit of a catch-22. As long as he’s healthy, he’s a league ace, but his health is the problem. I’m in my ninth year of professional baseball, and despite two 10-win seasons, I’ve never pitched a full season (144 innings). Injuries, big and small, have taken their toll.
Koo Chang-mo’s comeback has been slow, as he was removed from the first team roster on April 18 due to fatigue. He hasn’t been able to improve his condition to his satisfaction. The good news is that there are no major injuries.
Initially, Koo was scheduled to start against the Changwon Doosan on the 30th, but his return to the first team was delayed. Instead,토토사이트 Koo will be pitching out of the bullpen in the Futures League. Foreign pitcher Taylor Widener, who suffered a herniated disk before the start of the season, will take the mound in Koo’s place.
With the cancellation of his start against Doosan, he will not be able to face Yang Ji Woo, who he played with in the NC for the past four seasons. “If I meet players who transferred like (Noh) Jin-hyuk and (I) Sung-beom, I want to catch them unconditionally, and the same goes for (Yang) Ji-won,” Koo said. Koo Chang-mo, Noh Jin-hyuk, Na Sung-beom, and Yang Ji were the main players who led NC to its first Korean Series title in the 2020 season, but all but Koo Chang-mo moved on to other teams. For Koo, Yang-ji is especially special because they were part of the winning battery. “I want to play against senior Ji-won the way I learned,” he said.
In his absence, NC’s starting lineup performed beyond expectations. Choi Sung-young and Lee Jae-hak, who came up from the Futures League, filled the void. Choi Sung-young earned his first win in 1018 days with five innings of one-run ball against Lotte on April 24, while veteran starter Lee Jae-hak pitched a combined 12 innings of three runs (two earned) in two games against Samsung Electronics on April 21 and Hanwha on April 27.
However, if NC is to stay in the mid-table race, they will absolutely need Koo Chang-mo’s performance. Right now, NC has no clear-cut starter other than Eric Pedi. Rookie Lee Yong-jun, who had been pitching well, has struggled in his last two outings and was sent down early, while Choi Sung-young and Lee Jae-hak have just been named first team starters. Song Myung-ki and Shin Min-hyuk are readjusting in the Futures League. It remains to be seen how much power Widener will have in his first start of the season.
NC has been careful to hold off on calling up Koo Chang-mo in the midst of the immediate standings race. By giving him plenty of rest, the team is hoping that he can pitch like an ace until the end of the season. Koo is also eager for his first career regulation innings. “I want to be able to say I’m a starter when I’ve pitched a regulation inning,” he said. Both the team and the pitcher are hoping that his rest, which has been longer than expected, will be “two steps forward, one step back.