Moon Dong-ju (20-Hanwha Eagles) is one of the biggest names in the league with a fastball that can reach speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour. The KBO doesn’t start its pennant race until October, but Moon’s season ends in August. It’s hard to believe.

Moon pitched 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball with five hits, one walk and five strikeouts in the 10th game of the season against the LG Twins at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday, earning his sixth win of the season.

After making his debut last year, Moon battled injuries and inconsistency, but has taken a step forward this season. With 83 innings pitched in 16 games, Moon has had a great first full-time season. His 3.47 ERA is second only to Felix Peña’s 2.83 among the team’s starters.

Once again, he was dominant until the seventh inning, when he faltered a bit, throwing over 100 pitches. Moon Dong-joo threw 108 pitches, surpassing his previous personal best of 101 pitches.

It’s ironic that such a treasure of a pitcher has a limited season. “If Moon Dong-ju pitches tomorrow (12), we plan to utilize him for the second half of the season, about seven games,” Choi Won-ho said to reporters at Jamsil Stadium on the 11th. “If it doesn’t rain and he throws normally, it will end in the last week of August. If it rains, it may be delayed a bit, but we are planning to have him pitch a total of 115 innings to a maximum of 120 innings.”

Won-ho Choi is known for being a studious coach. He earned a master’s degree in physical education and a doctorate in kinesiology from Dankook University and established himself as a pitching expert by founding the Choi Won-ho Pitching Institute. He was also a professional pitcher for 14 seasons.

He understands pitching better than anyone else, and he knows what it takes to keep Korea’s promising pitchers on the field for a long time.

“Even if he pitches 10 innings in the Asian Games, I think he’ll be fine if he keeps it under 130 innings,” Choi said. “If he finishes (his personal schedule) at the end of August, he’ll have about three weeks before the tournament, so he’ll be in much better shape compared to players who have to pitch until the Korean Series. It will be more comfortable for me. Usually, if you go straight to the Korean Series and take three weeks off, you feel a lot better,” he said.

It’s his first full-time season and he’s still growing, so he needs to manage it. With the win, Hanwha jumped to eighth place and is just three games back of fourth-place NC and Lotte, making fall baseball a realistic possibility, so while it may not be easy to end ace Moon Dong-joo’s season early, the team is looking to the future rather than the immediate future.

In his final start of the first half of the season, Choi pitched a perfect game through seven innings, throwing a career-high 108 pitches before entering the game in the eighth inning. After the game, Choi praised the pitcher, saying, “We had a plan to keep him long today because we have two weeks off, but he came back to pitch the eighth inning with minimal runs.”

“I haven’t thought about it because I have a match today,” he said, “but I don’t think I’m in a position to control my condition. I just have to do my best in the given situation,” he said in a textbook response.

Choi also believes in starting young and promising pitchers. Rookie Kim Seo-hyun (19), who has shown a desire to finish with a ball that reaches a top speed of nearly 160 kilometers per hour, was sent down to the second team after a poor start to the season and is being taught starting lessons.토토사이트

Before the 11th game, Choi said, “If you start as a starter and build a foundation of experience, you have a much better chance of success when you switch to the bullpen later. If you start in the bullpen, you can’t get a lot of experience. You don’t get crunch time experience. In the bullpen, you don’t let them go through a crisis,” he said. “Also, one of the qualities of a starting pitcher is a healthy body, so it’s ideal for young pitchers to be in the starting lineup.”

In his three starts in the Futures League, Choi has emerged as one of the top five candidates for the second half of the season, especially in his last six games, where he pitched 5⅔ innings with seven strikeouts and one earned run. Choi said, “(Kim) Seo-hyun-i is scheduled to pitch on Thursday (13), but I’m thinking about it after seeing the results. We plan to utilize Jang Min-jae and the better of the two,” Choi said.

Ideally, Kim Seo-hyun will fill in after September, when Moon Dong-ju will be out of action. They have a common denominator in that they’re both right-handed pitchers with fiery fastballs, so Kim’s arrival could minimize the gap.

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