South Korea’s baseball team, which will attempt to win its fourth consecutive title at the Hangzhou Asian Games, will watch the regular season of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) until this week to decide on a replacement player.
“Together with manager Ryu Joong-il and the national team coaching staff, we will watch as many games as possible and decide on a replacement,” Cho Gye-hyun, chairman of the KBO Power Enhancement Committee, which selects baseball players and runs the national team, said on Wednesday.
An official familiar with the national team’s situation also said, “We understand that they will decide on the replacement players next week after watching the baseball schedule this week.”
The strength and conditioning committee will meet next week to confirm the replacements and finalize the roster after the Korea Baseball and Softball Association’s strength and conditioning committee approves it.
The players, who currently play for 10 KBO clubs, will be called up to the national team after playing until the 22nd.
The team will begin its first training session at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 23rd, followed by a practice game on the 26th, before flying to Hangzhou, China on the 28th.
Korea Baseball will open its four-game series against Hong Kong on Oct. 1.
The team will need to find a replacement for Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes), whose season was cut short due to ankle surgery.
The team will also need to keep an eye on the status of left-handed pitcher Koo Chang-mo (NC Dinos), who was a late scratch after suffering a muscle injury in his left forearm (between the elbow and wrist) and a stress fracture in his left arm.
He recently threw three bullpen sessions, one each day, and will get a feel for the game this week with live pitches with the bases loaded.
According to the NC organization, Koo will throw two innings of live ball on the 13th, throwing 15 pitches per inning. Afterward, he will check his velocity and physical condition before pitching in a second-team game against Sangmu on the weekend.
Right-hander Jang Hyun-seok (Masan Yongmago), the only amateur to make the team, has recently resumed pitching and is likely to make the trip to Hangzhou without any major setbacks.
National team bullpen coach Chung Dae-hyun is keeping a close eye on Jang’s pitches, and Jang will soon pitch in a practice game to strengthen his shoulder.
“It is expected to be a difficult tournament as Taiwan’s power is quite strong and the quality of Japanese unemployed baseball players is not easy to match,” Cho said. “We must win the group game against Taiwan on Oct. 2 to challenge for the gold medal, so we are focusing on making a must-win strategy with the national team coaches.” 안전놀이터