“I’ve been preparing all along” Tommy John surgery leaves 157km ace vacant, 23-year-old first-round college right-hander gets opportunity

“I’ve been preparing all along.”

The Kiwoom Heroes, coached by Hong Won-ki, are without both their main bats and pitchers. Ace Ahn Woo-jin is also going under the knife following the injury to Lee Jung-hoo.

Ahn visited Cheongdam Lion Orthopedic Surgery on the first of the month to treat right elbow pain caused by accumulated fatigue. During the pre-treatment ultrasound, a suspected ligament injury was detected, and he immediately underwent a detailed examination, including MRI and CT scans, as a result of which he was diagnosed with a damaged medial collateral ligament.

“Considering that no abnormalities were detected until he went to the hospital a month ago, the specialist explained that the area seemed to have deteriorated rapidly,” said a representative from Kiwoom.

Ahn Woo-jin is Kiwoom’s absolute ace. After developing into one of the league’s leading starters last season with 15 wins and 224 strikeouts in 196 innings, Ahn has been solid on the mound this season as the team’s ace, posting a 9-7 record with a 2.39 ERA in 24 appearances.

Speaking before the game against the NC Dinos at Changwon NC Park on Friday, Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki said, “The date of the surgery has not been set yet. We’ve only heard that he needs to have surgery, but we haven’t heard anything further yet.”

According to the original rotation, Ahn should take the mound tomorrow (June 6). However, since he won’t be able to take the mound, someone will have to fill the void.

Hong Won-ki thought of second-year right-hander Joo Seung-woo. Joo joined the Kiwoom in 2022 with the first overall pick after graduating from Seoul High and Sungkyunkwan University. He went 4-0 with a 10.80 ERA last season and has an 11.57 ERA after six appearances this season.

All of his appearances this season have been out of the bullpen, with his last start coming on September 7th of last year against the Samsung Lions. In that game, Joo threw two innings of one-hit ball with four strikeouts and two walks. It was his first and last start.

Manager Hong Won-ki said, “Tomorrow, Joo Seung-woo will get his chance. He showed promise last year. We’ve been preparing him for the start,” Hong said.

“As I always say, the number one thing a starting pitcher must have is fastball power. “Joo Seung-woo is showing promise, but he needs to improve his delivery to quickly adapt to the first team stage,” he said. 먹튀검증

NC manager Kang Myung-ho announced Shin Min-hyuk as the starter on the 6th and Tenor as the starter on the 7th.






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