There was no consideration of military service. Outfielder Kim Seong-yoon (Samsung Lions) and left-handed pitcher Kim Young-gyu (NC Dinos), who overcame the competition with only their skills, are heading to Hangzhou.

On the 21st, the Korean Baseball Softball Association (KBSA) Performance Improvement Committee and the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Power Enhancement Committee announced that among the 24 members of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team, two were injured or in the recovery stage from injuries but judged to be difficult to show normal performance during the tournament. The replacement was confirmed.

The KBO Power Strengthening Committee (Chairman Cho Gye-hyun), national team coach Ryu Joong-il and the coaching staff inspected the performance of players recovering from injuries and rehabilitation immediately after the announcement of the 24-member national team baseball team for the Hangzhou Asian Games on June 9, and left-handed pitcher Koo Chang-mo (NC) Dinos) and outfielder Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) were deemed necessary. The players in question were decided to be replaced by Kim Seong-yoon and Kim Young-gyu, respectively, through the Korea Baseball Softball Association’s Performance Improvement Committee.

Lee Jeong-hoo, who suffered an unexpected injury not long after the second half of the season began, was confirmed to be out for the season early on. He started as the third hitter and center fielder in the away game against the Lotte Giants held at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 22nd, but felt pain in his left ankle while fielding in the bottom of the 8th inning. 

Heading to the hospital, Lee Jeong-hoo was diagnosed with damage to his left ankle extensor zone (the membrane surrounding the ankle tendon). It was found that he needed about three months for rehabilitation alone, and Lee Jeong-hoo’s 2023 season came to an end. His team, Kiwoom, and the Asian Games baseball team were also placed on ’emergency’ status.

In addition, it was unclear whether Koo Chang-mo, another key player of the national team, would also join. Koo Chang-mo appeared as a starting pitcher in the game against the LG Twins in Jamsil on June 2, but felt unwell immediately after the game against leadoff Hong Chang-gi in the bottom of the first inning. After receiving a hospital examination, he was diagnosed with left forearm flexor damage and was expected to take 3 to 5 weeks for rehabilitation.

His name was included in the Asian Games entry that was announced not long after Koo Chang-mo was injured. At the time, Cho Gye-hyun, chairman of the Power Strengthening Committee, said, “After investigating the injured players on the list, the severity of the injury was minor. There were more than three months left, and we judged that they could fully recover.” He added, “The injury period may be prolonged, but the competition He explained the reason for adding Koo Chang-mo to the entry, saying, “Replacement is possible until the day before the start. There is also a possibility of replacement.”

Koo Chang-mo, who focused on recovery for over three months, went through a step-by-step pitching program, long toss, mound pitching, and live pitching in order. On the 19th, he took the mound in the away game against KT Wiz in the 2023 KBO Futures League held at Iksan Baseball Stadium and pitched well, allowing 1 hit, no walks, 2 strikeouts, and no runs in 2 innings. According to the NC club, the highest speed of his fastball was measured at 145 km/h. The pitch control wasn’t bad, with 19 of the 27 pitches being strikes.

At the time, Koo Chang-mo said through the club, “I am happy that I was able to finish the given inning cleanly without worrying about my body. It has been a long time since I played in an official game and pitched in practice, and I felt good overall.” He added, “The fastball was good, and although I did not throw many breaking balls, I am satisfied.” said. The next day, he registered for the first team and received his first call-up for the second half of the season. NC coach Kang In-kwon announced that he plans to wait in the bullpen and also talked about how to utilize Koo Chang-mo. However, in the end, Koo Chang-mo’s boarding failed.

Kim Seong-yoon and Kim Young-gyu, who were selected to the national team as their replacements, were in relatively good condition among the players on the reserve list.

Kim Seong-yoon, whose presence was not noticeable until the early and mid-season, improved his batting skills as the weather got warmer. He played well in 17 games in July with 18 hits in 44 at-bats, a batting average of 0.409, 1 home run, 7 RBI, and 3 stolen bases, and then last month, in 22 games, 78 at-bats, 31 hits, a batting average of 0.397, 1 home run, 9 RBI, and 6 stolen bases. Thanks to his solid reputation, he was called up to the national team, beating out teammates Kim Hyun-jun and Yoon Dong-hee (Lotte Giants). He has experience with the youth national team in the past when he was at Pocheol High School, but this is his first time playing for the adult national team.

Kim Young-gyu, who is in charge of one axis of the NC bullpen, is recording double-digit holds for two consecutive years with 59 games, 56⅔ innings, 2 wins, 4 losses, 21 holds, and an ERA of 3.34 this season. Although unstable pitch control was a problem, he found stability last year and showed consistent performance from the beginning of the season through the All-Star break through August and September, and was able to wear the national team uniform. Given that he has played both as a starter and a bullpen player, expectations are high that he will be of great use to the national team.안전놀이터

However, controversy was raised in some quarters as to whether there is a principle of not selecting three players per team who have not completed their military service, and voices of dissatisfaction poured in from fans regarding this as well. Kim Seong-yoon, who enlisted in the Navy after the 2018 season, has completed his military service, and Kim Young-gyu has not yet resolved his military issues.

A KBO official firmly drew the line, saying, “The principle of not selecting three players per team who have not completed military service is something that has not even been discussed at all,” and added, “For this Asian Games, selection was made without considering military service at all, and Wild “Excluding the cards, the national team was formed under the principles of age and seniority restrictions (under 25 years old or less than 4 years since joining the team) and a maximum of 3 players per team (including wild cards),” he explained. The KBO’s position is that during the national team selection process, they were selected solely based on ability.

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