NC Dinos pitcher Koo Chang-mo is in the final stretch for the Hangzhou Asian Games. After making his first Futures League start since returning from injury, NC Dinos head coach Kang Myung-ho plans to call him up to the first team. Koo is expected to get a final check on the first team bullpen mound ahead of the national team call-up this weekend.
Koo made his first start on September 19 against KT WIZ in the Futures League in Iksan, Korea, where he threw two innings of two-hit ball (27 pitches for 19 strikes) with one walk and two strikeouts. Koo Chang-mo’s first live pitch was witnessed by Cho Kye-hyun, chairman of the KBO’s Power Enhancement Committee, and Ryu Jung-il, manager of the national team.
Speaking to reporters before the team’s game against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil on the 19th, Kang said, “We received a report that Koo Chang-mo pitched two innings and felt no discomfort without any major abnormalities. According to the club’s measurement, his fastball had a maximum velocity of 146 km/h and an average velocity of 144 km/h. We are thinking of enrolling him in the first team tomorrow (Feb. 20).”
Koo plans to pitch in relief if he makes the first team on Tuesday. It’s his last chance to make sure he’s in good shape before he’s called up to the national team on the 23rd.
Kang said, “As a starting pitcher, I have no choice but to pitch in the bullpen first. First of all, I’ll train tomorrow and see if I can pitch a series. If we go to the postseason, of course, Koo Chang-mo will have to take on the role of starting pitcher. After the national team, he’ll have to work on his pitch count, and then he’ll be ready for the mound. He doesn’t need to throw 100 pitches, but he needs to throw 80 pitches.”
Third-ranked NC, which is in a tight race with second-ranked KT WIZ, also faces challenges from fourth-ranked Doosan and fifth-ranked KIA. NC will start its starting rotation this week with Pedi on the 19th, followed by Tanner on the 20th, Shin Min-hyuk on the 21st, Choi Sung-young on the 22nd, and Lee Jae-hak on the 23rd. Whether Pedi will start on the 24th will be determined by the outcome of this week’s game and the flow of the standings battle.
Kang said, “We’ll also consider next week’s KIA game to decide when Pedi’s next appearance will be. It’s not a style where Pedi emphasizes his routine unconditionally. He is a player who can adjust his routine according to the team’s situation.”메이저놀이터
Meanwhile, NC will face Doosan starter Jang Won-jun on the 19th with a starting lineup of Son Ah-seop (designated hitter), Park Min-woo (second base), Park Geon-woo (right field), Martin (center field), Kwon Hee-dong (left field), Seo Ho-chul (third base), Yoon Hyung-joon (first base), Kim Hyung-joon (catcher), and Kim Joo-won (shortstop).
“Kim Hyung-joon and Kim Joo-won, who will be joining the Asian Games team this weekend, will play until the last minute,” Kang said.