Kiwoom without Ahn Woo-jin and Chung Chan-heon, homegrown starters ‘plan new game’

Faced with a huge hole in their starting lineup, the Kiwoom Heroes are looking to rebuild.

Going into the 2023 season, Kiwoom had no starting pitching issues. First baseman Ahn Woo-jin and foreign ace Eric Yokishi led the way, followed by Ariel Furado, Choi Won-tae, and Jang Jae-young. Veteran Chung Chan-heon was also preparing for the season as a starter. 카지노사이트

But in June, cracks began to appear. Yokishi left the team with an adductor muscle injury, and in July, the team used Choi Won-tae as a trade chip to bolster the rotation.

The team maintained a five-man starting rotation with the addition of replacement foreign pitcher Ian McKinney, but the second half of the year saw another wave of departures. Ahn Woo-jin and Chung Chan-heon were unable to finish the season due to elbow and back injuries, respectively.

Ahn Woo-jin won’t be pitching next season. After being diagnosed with a damaged medial collateral ligament in her elbow in September, Ahn will begin her military service as a social worker on May 18. She chose to combine rehabilitation with military service. He will be released on September 17, 2025.

Chung is aiming to return next year, but the situation remains to be seen. He underwent back surgery on the 20th of last month and will need about six months of rehabilitation. His back injury has been a persistent problem that has required three surgeries.

Kiwoom will have to reorganize its starting lineup for now. The only pitchers remaining in the starting lineup are Ariel Hurtado and Jang Jae-young, who are likely to stay together for the new season. One spot will be filled by a new foreign pitcher, and the other two will be homegrown starters.

Kim Sun-ki, who has experience as a late-season starter in 2023, could enter the rotation. He appeared in 17 games this year, going 1-3 with one save and a 5.98 ERA, but it was a different story on the mound. In his seven starts, he went five innings or more five times and posted a respectable 4.50 ERA.

Prospective pitchers can also get a chance. Lee Myung-jong, who has appeared in 72 games for the first team in two seasons, and Joo Seung-woo, a former first-round pick, are among the favorites to start.

Lee showed promise in a September 9 start against the Hanwha Eagles, pitching four innings of one-hit ball with one run allowed. Joo Seung-woo has been steadily learning the ropes in the Futures (second-tier) league since last year and has made two starts in the first team this year to get acclimated.

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