“If (Kim) Min-woo can do it…”
Hanwha Eagles right-hander Kim Min-woo, 29, received news that sounded like a death knell for the 2023 season. He was diagnosed with a partially torn deltoid muscle in his shoulder after a June 14 game against the Busan Lotte Giants. His season was cut short. In 12 games, he went 1-6 with a 6.97 ERA.
While Young-geun Young is the dominant starter on the Hanwha mound, Kim Min-woo was a pillar of the native starting staff just a few years ago. In 2021, he had the best year of his career, going 14-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 29 games, but he struggled to find his groove and went 6-11 with a 4.36 ERA in 29 games in 2022, and his presence diminished.
Enter Moon Dong-joo. Kim will no longer have to carry an excessive workload. However, Kim’s presence is still needed in the Hanwha starting lineup. Most Hanwha fans at Melbourne Ballpark in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, were hoping for a resurgence.
Hanwha has three solid starters this season in Felix Peña, Ricardo Sanchez, and Moon Dong-joo. For the fourth and fifth spots, veterans like Lee Tae-yang and Jang Min-jae are competing with Kim Min-woo, Young Gun Kim Ki-jung, and Nam Ji-min. Of the four or five candidates, Kim Min-woo is the one with the most solid starting experience.
Coach Choi Won-ho said, “Regulation innings experience cannot be ignored. When younger players are bad, they can go to one room, but Min-woo is a little less likely to do that.” With his relatively high average, he could be the fourth or fifth starter, allowing the manager to make more calculated decisions on the mound.
In fact, Kim pitched 132⅔ innings in 2020, 155⅓ innings in 2021, and 163 innings in 2022. He pitched the most innings of any Hanwha homegrown pitcher during this time, and the highest percentage. His shoulder has been successfully rehabilitated and he’s picking up pace in Melbourne. He also pitched out of the bullpen several times.
On the last two days, Kim Min-woo’s pitching balance was not good. Manager Choi Won-ho, who was watching from afar, pointed out that his center movement was not good 토토사이트 and that he was pushing the ball. However, he didn’t say a word to himself. Instead, he said, “I think it’s because of the jet lag (from a drive to Seattle).”
Kim Min-woo then pitched much better in his next outing, and continued the trend in his next outing. Manager Choi Won-ho was satisfied. The rehabilitation, dieting, and Driveline hadn’t gone unnoticed.
“It was very good and beneficial. My body balance, my transitions have improved,” he said. Driveline allows you to data and systematize your optimal pitching mechanics and balance. Of course, he laughs about his first bullpen outing, saying, “It wasn’t jet lag.”
He’s ready for the 2024 season. “My shoulder is about 6 to 70 percent. Rehab is going well. In the end, recovering my fastball is the most important thing. I have to have a fastball to make my main weapon, my forkball, live,” he said, adding, “I have to drop the question marks that are hanging over me.” At this pace, I think he’ll be able to be a fourth or fifth starter.