Coach Choi Won-ho, who is happy with the performance of the 5th starting candidates, is happy with the performance of Hwang Joon-seo and Kim Min-woo in good condition

Hwang Joon-seo, a graduate of Sangmyung Middle School and Jangchung High School, is a left-hander who not only has powerful fastballs and sharp breaking balls but also soft pitching form. Through training and practice matches during the spring camp, he was well received by coaching staff for his pitching style and ability to manage matches.

However, as Kim Min-woo provided an opportunity to rebound recently, the whereabouts of the fifth starter is at a mystery again. Called as the first overall pick by the Hanwha Eagles in the second round in 2015, he is a right-handed pitcher who posted 34 wins and 59 losses and an ERA of 5.30 in 180 games (757 innings) until last year. The 2020 season (132.2 innings), the 2021 season (155.1 innings) and the 2022 season (163 innings) all exceeded 100 innings, and he reigned as an ace in the 2021 season with 14 wins and 10 losses and an ERA of 4.00.

However, he suffered from bad luck recently. He was out of the team’s capacity early last year after being hit by a rough hit, and around June that year, he was diagnosed with a ruptured deltoid muscle in his shoulder and was out for the season.

Kim, desperate, sweated hard during the winter to revive the national team. He moved to Seattle in the U.S. at his own expense and underwent individual training at the Baseball Academy’s Driveline Baseball. Driveline Baseball is a world-class training center that seeks to improve skills based on data. It has a reputation for motion capture, physical therapy, and pitch correction based on professional evaluation. Since then, Kim has constantly worked hard to boost his physical condition at Hanwha’s spring camp.

Did he say sweat never betrays you? Kim recently signaled his revival. He started at a practice game against the KT Wiz held at Gochida Stadium in Okinawa, Japan on March 28, and allowed three hits, three strikeouts and one run in 2.2 innings.

Although he could not avoid losing a point, it was certainly encouraging that he did not yield a single sand ball. He had a good strike (35)-ball (13) ratio and good pitching. His maximum and average speeds were only 143 km and 140 km, respectively, but there is plenty of time to raise them.

The head coach also lavished praise on him. “Kim Min-woo was good (that day). He had strength in his ball,” Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said on Sunday. “Ball speed is important for pitchers, but they should watch fastballs caught by batters at the right timing. If the batter keeps getting hit with static hits, the batter judges that the ball is not as good or weak as he thought, but in the game against KT, there were fouls and swings and misses. That means the speed that batters feel is fast,” he added.
“The biggest risk (for Kim) was his poor pitching capability since his shoulder injury last year. Still, he went to the U.S. at his own expense to prepare for the winter event. I never felt like I could do it until the spring camp in Australia, but I liked it when I was with KT. With plenty of experience in starting pitchers, if (Kim) throws fastballs at 143-144 kilometers, it is not easy to hit,” Choi said. “He also has a lot of experience in starting pitchers.”

Veteran right-hander Lee Tae-yang and left-hander Kim Ki-joong are also competing to become the starting five players, showing off their presence. The coach plans to wait and see for now.

“The four starters (including Ryu Hyun-jin, Peña, Sanchez, and Moon Dong-ju) are in the process of preparing for the regular season,” Choi said. “They are not in the phase of being in good condition or bad condition yet.” “Rather, the players competing for the fifth starter have come up in good condition. I think we need to see more until the exhibition game. There is no need to worry about the players who are competing if they are not in good condition, but we will try to find a way to revive them when everyone is in good condition.” Choi is in a state of deep concern.

BY: 스포츠토토

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