Will the present and future of the KBO league start a match from the opening game? The possibility of a big match between Kiwoom An Woo-jin (24) and Hanwha Moon Dong-ju (20) opening match is rising.
The opening game of the 2023 season토토사이트 between Hanwha and Kiwoom will be held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 1st of next month. The starting pitcher for Kiwoom’s opening game has not been announced, but if there are no variables, Ahn Woo-jin is certain. Ahn Woo-jin, who has become one of the best pitchers in the KBO league in name and reality, will be selected for the opening game for the second year in a row following last year.
On the other hand, the starting pitcher for Hanwha’s opening game is unclear. Over the past two years, native ace Kim Min-woo has been a starter in the opening game. In terms of the team’s future and symbolism, head coach Carlos Subero adhered to the principle of selecting a domestic pitcher instead of a foreign pitcher as the starter for the opening game.
However, it seems that this principle may be broken this year. This is because new foreign pitcher Birch Smith, who is expected to be the first starter, is showing a very good pace from spring camp practice games to demonstration games. 4 games, 12⅔ innings, 4 hits, 3 walks, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts, 1 run, and an average ERA of 0.71.
Coach Subero said, “There is a good chance that Smith will start the opening game. In the first appearance of the demonstration game (against Daejeon KIA on the 13th), after passing 40 to 50 pitches, I could see the speed drop, but (against Daejeon SSG on the 20th) I pitched well enough to eliminate such worries.” On this day, Smith threw a fastball of up to 154km and maintained an average fastball speed of 150km until the fifth inning. He said, “I tried to throw it powerfully from the beginning to the end without using all my strength.” I will abide by the team’s decision,” he said.
Kim Min-woo, who has been a starter for the opening game for the past two years, is slowly improving in the demonstration games, putting more weight on Smith’s selection for the opening game. The selection of a foreign pitcher for the opening game is a decision that breaks manager Subero’s principles, but he said, “Baseball always changes. It is a sport that adapts to each other and is adapted to each other. The possibility of Smith’s starting selection is really open,” he emphasized. It is standard practice to have the strongest pitcher from the opening game, and Smith is the best card for Hanwha’s team, which is expected to produce results this year.
Still, coach Subero did not completely abandon his desire to feature a domestic pitcher in the opening game. Second-year young gun Moon Dong-ju is also raising the pace smoothly, causing coach Subero to worry. Moon Dong-ju threw well with 4 hits (1 home run), 2 walks, 4 strikeouts and 1 run in 3 innings in the first appearance of the demonstration game against Daejeon Kiwoom on the 18th. His highest speed was 157 km.
If fireballers Woo-jin An and Dong-joo Moon start the match from the opening game, it will be a huge success factor. “Personally, I want to see that matchup, too,” said Subero. I am looking forward to seeing the present and future of the KBO League stick together.” I am thinking enough to look back on my baseball philosophy that I have kept for decades. 2023 is a more important season than ever for the Hanwha Eagles team, and we will make the best decisions for the team.”