“It is certain that it is a very reasonable timber as a starting pitcher for the opening game.”
Hanwha Eagles ‘top prospect’ Moon Dong-ju held an away match against the Lotte Giants in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League demonstration game held at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 25th. After starting the mound, he fought back with 63 pitches, 4 hits, 7 strikeouts and 1 run (1 earned run) in 4 innings.
Mun Dong-joo, who has received a lot of attention from fans as well as scouts for throwing fast balls that travel over 150 km since his amateur days, pitched in 13 games last year and recorded 1 win, 3 losses, 2 holds, and an ERA of 5.65. In the 10 games in the first half, he suffered greatly with an average ERA of 8.56 with 1 loss and 2 holds, but after adjustment in the second group, he went 1-2 and averaged an ERA of 3.00 in the 3 games in the second half, showing a marked change. And he is showing another growth in this year’s exhibition game.
On the 18th, against the Kiwoom Heroes, Dongju Moon, 토토사이트who had 4 hits (1 home run), 2 walks, 4 strikeouts and 1 run (1 earned) in 3 innings, was not ‘perfect’, but he pitched enough to arouse admiration from viewers. He left a strong impression by striking out a total of 7 strikeouts in 4 innings, marking three fast balls with a maximum speed of 157 km and recording a maximum of 148 km for both the slider and changeup.
Coach Carlos Subero has been putting the ‘local ace’ at the forefront since the 2021 season when he took the baton of Hanwha. However, this year, the candidate for the ‘local selection’ for the opening game is in an unclear situation. This is because Kim Min-woo started off very poorly with an average ERA of 6.43 in two demonstration games. If the ‘principle’ so far is adhered to, is there any possibility that Moon Dong-ju, who has a good flow, will take on the important role of selecting the ‘surprise’ opening match?
This year, Hanwha’s opponent for the opening game is Kiwoom. In the case of Kiwoom, there is a strong possibility that Ahn Woo-jin, who is demonstrating force by spraying a fast ball up to 160 km in an exhibition game, will be on the mound as the starting pitcher for the opening game. If Moon Dong-ju takes the mound as a starter for the opening game, a match-up with Ahn Woo-jin will be made. It is a confrontation between ‘native’ players who spray fast balls in the middle and late 150km. However, coach Subero, who had even thought of a picture of Ahn Woo-jin and Moon Dong-joo facing each other until a few days ago, resigned on the 25th and drew a line before the Lotte match.
In response to the question, “If Moon Dong-ju pitches well against Lotte, can there be a change in the starting rotation for the opening game?” “There will be no impact,” he said. “It is most important to see the process rather than the result in the demonstration game.”
Director Subero expressed his intention to develop Moon Dong-ju step by step without rushing. He said, “Moon Dong-ju is a young player with a very promising future. We need to prepare and prepare so that we can take each step well without having to climb the big stairs.” There will be no change in the training plan,” he said.
Therefore, there is a high possibility that coach Subero will change the ‘principle’ that he has kept. His most likely candidate is Birch Smith. On the 14th, Smith recorded 1 run (1 earned) in 4 innings against the KIA Tigers, and on the 20th, against the’defending champion’ SSG Landers, he blocked 4⅓ scoreless innings and even got the victory. His exhibition game performance this year is recording an earned run average of 1.08 in 2 games (8⅓ innings).
The possibility of selection for the opening game disappeared, but Moon Dong-ju did not regret it at all. Because he has the most important goal. In an interview with reporters after the game on the 25th, Dong-ju Moon said, “I’m not very greedy for the selection for the opening game. My goal was to enter one place in the starting rotation and make my own place.”
First of all, Moon Dong-ju pitched on the 25th, greatly increasing the possibility of entering the starting lineup. He said, “I think I can give 70 to 80 points today. It was the last pitching before the regular season, and it was a satisfying game because I was able to execute my plan well. I definitely gained a lot of confidence. The demonstration game (starting) is over, but I will continue to show confident pitching during the season.” said.