First of all, the opening match between An Woo-jin (Kiwoom) and Moon Dong-ju (Hanwha) failed. But there is no reason to be disappointed. A speed war in the early to mid-150 km range will be held.
Ahn Woo-jin won the honor of starting the opening match for the second consecutive year. The ball will be thrown in the first inning of the opening match against Hanhwa in Gocheok on the 1st of next month. The demonstration match was incomparable. He recorded 7 hits, 14 strikeouts, 5 walks, 1 run, 2 wins and an earned run average of 0.75 in 3 games in 12 innings.
One run was also due to a blocking mistake by rookie 메이저사이트catcher Kim Dong-heon. In the scoring position, he showed good crisis management skills to the extent that he could not hit a single hit at the right time. I shot the fastball in the middle of 150km lightly, and mixed the slider, changeup, and curveball. His slider is his main weapon, but his curveball and changeup command are also quite good.
He played 196 innings in the regular season last year alone. 232⅔ innings plus the postseason. He prepared for the season this year with the same routine as last year, but focused on recovering from fatigue and deliberately delayed pitching to the bullpen to ensure his health. As long as he is not sick, realistically, there is no better pitcher than An Woo-jin in Korea.
Hanwha pitches Birch Smith as the starting pitcher, not second-year fastball right-hander Moon Dong-ju, who has been a hot topic since spring camp. Manager Carlos Subero has put a native pitcher as the starting pitcher for the opening game for the past two years after taking office, but this time he changes his policy and puts his hopes on Smith.
That means Smith is trustworthy. In the 2022 season, he played as a bullpen for the Seibu Lions of the Japanese Professional Baseball League, but Hanwha has a good feeling that Smith will make a big success as an ace this year. 1 win in 3 exhibition games, ERA 1.42. 7 hits, 15 strikeouts, 4 walks and 2 runs in 12⅔ innings.
Smith is evaluated as a pitcher with a good combination of high fastball and curveball. GM Sohn Hyuk predicted that it would not be that easy for hitters to endure Smith’s high ball + curve at the Mesa spring camp in February. Because of his height, his RBI is basically high. He also uses two-seam, slider, and cutter. At Mesa Camp, he even showed off his thighs.
A meeting of a new face foreign ace who can cause a sensation among the best pitchers in the active KBO league. Their confrontation is also a 150km fastball war. In Hanwha, there are many native pitchers who can run more than 150 km with a sense of stability. Watching who will explode this year is also an important point.