Hong has hinted at the possibility of utilizing Cho Sang-woo

Kiwoom Heroes manager Hong Won-ki has hinted at the possibility of utilizing Cho Sang-woo (30) as a closer instead of a reliever after his return from military service.

Following the Arizona camp in the United States, Hong Won-ki completed his second spring training in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and returned home via Incheon International Airport on June 6. In an interview after returning home, he said, “I made a lot of plans before going to spring training, but I focused on reducing the number of starting pitchers. Now we have a good outline and we’ll try to put the final pieces together in the exhibition games. We’ve had a few injuries, but I’m happy with the way we’ve been able to finalize our plans,” said Kiermaier after spring training.

Kiwoom traded Choi Won-tae, one of last year’s main starters, to LG, leaving a gap in the starting rotation after ace Ahn Woo-jin underwent Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament reconstruction) and began his military service as a social service worker. The only pitchers currently confirmed as starters are foreigners Ariel Hurtado and Enmanuel De Jesus. Jang Jae-young, Ha Young-min, 바카라사이트 Cho Young-gun, Jo Seung-woo, and Kim Sun-ki are competing for the three remaining starting spots.

“It’s hard to say who the starters will be yet,” said Hong Won-ki.

We’ll make the final decision after the exhibition games. We will also increase the number of innings for the start of the season. The pitchers who throw long innings in the exhibition games will be the starters,” he explained.

Regarding the foreign pitchers Furado and Heisus, who will have to protect the starting rotation, Hong said, “I was a little worried about Furado when I saw him in the U.S. camp. It seemed like he came to the camp without any preparation. However, as a professional player, he has prepared well to execute his plans for the year. He was so motivated that we had to stop him at the beginning of the U.S. camp,” said Hassus. “Furado has been almost glued to him, helping him adjust. The way they’ve been talking back and forth, sharing their experiences, I think the chemistry and the way they’re going to run the season is going to be really good,” he said of the foreign pitching duo.

While there are question marks in the starting rotation, Kiwoom returns a solid card in the bullpen.

One of the league’s top closers, Cho Sang-woo, has returned from military service. Jo joined Nexen (now Kiwoom) as a first-round (No. 1) pick in the 2013 Rookie Draft, and is a specialty bullpen arm with a 33-24 record, 45 wins, 82 saves, and a 3.11 ERA in 299 career KBO games (379⅔ innings). He was one of the best closers in the league in 2019 and 2021, when he earned 68 saves in three years. His fastball can reach more than 150 kilometers per hour. He returned to the team last December after completing his military service as a social worker. When he left for spring training, he surprised everyone by returning to the team after losing about 15 kilograms from his pre-military weight, so there are high expectations for him.

“If you think about the difference between 2022 and 2023, there weren’t many games that were overturned in the seventh to ninth inning in 2022, and last year there were many games that were overturned late in the game, so we’re going to make the eighth inning more important than the ninth inning this year,” said Hong Won-ki. I think Cho will pitch in the most important inning,” he said, indicating that he will flexibly use Cho as a closer rather than a traditional closer. “I haven’t heard anything about the position yet. It’s up to the manager to decide, so I have to go out and pitch hard no matter what,” he said.

If Cho Sang-woo pitches the eighth inning, the team will need a pitcher to close out the ninth.

Last year’s closer, Lim Chang-min, moved to Samsung as a free agent after the season ended. Kim Jae-woong, who served as the closer in 2022, plans to join the team in June.

“We have a lot to think about because Kim Jae-woong is going to the military,” said manager Hong Won-ki. “Before he goes to the military, 사설 토토사이트 he vowed to do his best. For the team, there is a big difference between having him and not having him, so we want to protect as many wins as possible while he is there.”

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