Will NC Dinos’ native left-handed ace Koo Chang-mo (25), who is accelerating his return to the first team, be able to board a plane to Hangzhou?
Koo Chang-mo conducted live pitching at Masan Stadium on the 13th. He threw 30 balls without difficulty, twice with 15 pitches each. According to the NC club, he threw a mix of fastballs, forkballs, sliders, and curveballs, and the fastball velocity reached up to 140 km/h.
After three months of rehabilitation, he is now ready to pitch in action.
Koo Chang-mo was replaced in the game against Jamsil LG Twins on June 2 after throwing only 5 balls and complaining of discomfort in his left arm. Since then, he has not been able to stand on the mound for the first team.
A thorough examination at the hospital after he felt discomfort revealed a diagnosis of microdamage to the flexor muscles of the forearm of his left arm. A re-examination in late June showed the injury had worsened, with a stress fracture to the ulna in his left arm.
Last month, Koo Chang-mo, who was told that his left arm bone density had recovered 100%, went through the Stepped Pitching Program (ITP) and started pitching in the bullpen from the beginning of this month.
On the 5th of this month, he threw 20 balls in front of the pitching board and 10 balls from a normal distance, and then threw bullpen pitches normally. On the 7th, he threw 30 balls from bullpen pitching, and on the 10th, he threw 50 balls with a mix of fastballs and breaking balls.
Koo Chang-mo, who has mastered live pitching by setting up the batter and throwing the ball, is scheduled to play about one inning in the Futures (Second Division) League game on the 16th. He is expected to join the first team next week if he is healthy.
NC coach Kang In-kwon expressed his intention to use Koo Chang-mo, who has always played only as a starter, as a bullpen pitcher right after he joined the first team.
If he wants to return as a starting pitcher, he must go through the process of increasing the number of pitches, so it will take more time for him to return. In order to adapt quickly, he plans to play as a bullpen pitcher in the first team and increase the number of pitches.
The reason Koo Chang-mo is speeding up his return is because of the Hangzhou Asian Games.
A ‘healthy’ Koo Chang-mo is a resource that can serve as an ace for the national team. Before suffering a left arm injury in 2020, he achieved outstanding performance with 9 wins, no losses, and an average ERA of 1.74 in 15 games, and last year, when he only joined at the end of May due to the aftermath of the injury, he also played well with 11 wins, 5 losses, and an average ERA of 2.10.
However, he suffered from the evil spirit of injury. Although he is considered the national team’s next-generation left-handed ace, the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March of this year was the only time he was selected to join the adult national team with no age limit.먹튀검증
Before this year’s WBC, his only Taegeuk experience since his professional debut was with the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) national team in 2017, where only players under the age of 24 participate.
Koo Chang-mo was a member of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 national team in 2019, but returned the Taegeuk flag due to a back injury, and at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held in 2021, he was unable to join the national team due to rehabilitation due to inflammation and stress fractures in his left forearm.
Because he is a strong force if not for injuries, national baseball coach Ryu Joong-il announced the final entry after Koo Chang-mo left due to injury, but included Koo Chang-mo in the list, believing that he could recover by September.
As Koo Chang-mo gets closer to returning to the first team, Coach Ryu is paying close attention to his condition. The list of replacement starting players was also decided to be announced just before the convocation date on the 23rd.
However, it is difficult for Koo Chang-mo to start and play the role of ace as expected. With less than 10 days left until the call-up date, it is impossible to get in shape to play a starting role.
Although he went through rehabilitation while carefully monitoring his physical condition, it is true that there is a feeling that his return is somewhat rushed, raising concerns that the injury may reoccur.
Gu Chang-mo’s will is strong.
He continued to perform poorly in the WBC, his first adult national team, and suffered the humiliation of being eliminated in the first round of the national team. Moreover, Gu Chang-mo has not yet solved the military problem.
Once Koo Chang-mo recovers smoothly from his injury before his return to the first team, it is up to the national team coaches, including Coach Ryu, to decide whether to join the final team. It is expected to be a difficult decision as it has not been long since his return.