Hanhwa, which is aiming for a mid-level jump, faced bad news from the start of the season.
Hanwha’s new foreign pitcher, Birch Smith (33), started the opening game against Kiwoom at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 1st and came off the mound after only 2.2 innings. It was because he felt shoulder pain while dealing with Edison Russell in the 3rd inning when the score was 0-0, 2 out, 1st and 2nd base. An official from Hanwha said, “It is not an injured area in the past. He plans to undergo a detailed examination on Monday (3rd).”
Lee Tae-yang hurriedly took over the mound, but was hit by a double by Russell. As the two successor runners homered, Smith’s earned run increased to 2 points. Hanwha took advantage of the opponent’s mistake in the 7th and 8th innings and recovered by one point, returning the game to the starting point. They fought closely until the 10th inning, but Lee Hyung-jong got a final hit and lost 2-3.
Last winter, Hanwha recruited Smith, saying, “A first-class player who overwhelms opponent hitters with pitch.” He predicted that adapting to the KBO league would be easy as he played for Seibu last year. Smith recorded an average ERA of 1.42 in 12.2 innings in three exhibition games. Coach Carlos Subero broke the policy of using a domestic pitcher as the starter for the opening game and dropped Smith, saying, “Smith showed the best performance during the spring camp.” However, Smith, who was expected to become an ace, was in danger of leaving due to a shoulder problem.
Hanwha ranked last for three consecutive years last year as foreign pitchers were injured one after another. He started the season with Nick Kingham and Ryan Carpenter, but the two packed up after starting only three and four games respectively. Hanwha, who failed to fill their gap, also recorded 10 consecutive losses for three consecutive years for the first time in the league. Felix Pena and Jefri Ramirez, who joined as substitutes, were also not spared from injuries. Only 8 wins were won by 4 foreign pitchers. 메이저사이트
Even when Smith was recruited, concerns surrounding injuries followed. This is because every year he suffers from big and small injuries. The club also said it was aware of the injury issue and checked closely. The atmosphere was good until the spring camp and exhibition games.
We had a more hopeful winter than ever before and welcomed spring. With active player recruitment, expectations that this year will be different grew both inside and outside the team. However, Hanwha had to recall last year’s nightmare from the first day of the regular season. I hope there is nothing wrong with the 3-day checkup.