“I’m going to take the home run out of the equation and just focus on being accurate.”
Hanwha Eagles’ Roh Si-hwan is the hottest commodity in professional baseball in the 2023 season. At the age of 23, he led the league in home runs (31), cementing his status as a rising star. The word “textured baseball” came out of his mouth. The Taegeuk Warriors’ determination to restore their honor was evident.
The national baseball team, which will compete at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, held an official training session at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on April 24. As in the previous day, the team sweated it out under the watchful eyes of head coach Ryu Jung-il and his coaching staff.
Noh Si-hwan, who has been reserved as the center fielder, strengthened his resolve through a press conference. He had been struggling with one home run in 17 games in September until the 21st, but on the 22nd, the day before the national team was called up, he hit his 31st home run of the season. “They have a lot of good pitchers, but I don’t think I’m going to be outplayed,” he said, adding, “I’ve been practicing my defense at first base in addition to (my primary position) third base. I’m confident that I can play any position.”
Moon Dong-ju, a junior member of the team and one of the key players on the mound, also took the microphone. He completed his first-team appearances this year on the last three days against the LG Twins and focused on recovering in the Futures League. “They say that pitchers have an advantage when they meet for the first time,” Moon said, laughing, “so I’ll do my best, thinking that (Noh) Si-hwan will score runs for me.”
Apart from the team’s efforts, the national team was mired in controversy just before the call-up. The process of replacing Kia Tigers’ Lee Yi-ri with a blistered finger was called into question. Suspicions were raised that the team had tampered with its pre-determined roster due to a simple slump rather than an injury. “I thought he wouldn’t be able to throw more than 80 pitches (per game) in this condition,” said Ryu himself.메이저사이트
NC Dinos’ Koo Chang-mo and Lee Yi-ri were also dropped from the roster, further reducing the weight of the mound. Kim Young-gyu joined the roster, but the team went into the international tournament without a full-time left-handed starter. Naturally, shutting down opposing lefties became a key task. Moon Dong-ju emphasized, “We’re ready for any situation, whether it’s a lefty or a righty.”
In the batting lineup, minimizing the absence of Kiwoom Heroes’ Lee Jung-hoo is a priority. With Kim Sung-yoon and Yoon Dong-hee on board, the team has more resources, but they don’t have Lee’s presence in terms of batting skills and international experience.
The team will have a day off on the 25th to rest and then play a practice game against Sangmu on the 26th to get a feel for the game. They will depart on the 28th.