“As a player challenging the big leagues, I know I’m not good enough.”
Ko Woo-suk (San Diego Padres) did not immediately talk about his grand goals or dreams when he left for Arizona on the 9th. Ko Woo-suk, who came back to Korea breathlessly after finishing his contract dramatically just before the deadline for posting, said, “I can’t say I’m a major leaguer yet.” He seemed to have a willingness not to put his words first at a time when he couldn’t make any judgment, which has yet to produce a result in the Major League.
However, he revealed his hidden goal very briefly before leaving Korea on Wednesday. When asked about his thoughts on the final competition, he replied, “I’m thinking about it, but that’s not my first goal.” “I think my first goal is to be on the Major League roster,” he said. Just as he did with LG, he expressed his determination to continue to grow and prove his goals step by step, and to finish the game in the future.
As Ko said, he is still challenging his dream of becoming a major league player. He is not a star who made a big contract worth more than 100 million U.S. dollars like his friend and brother-in-law Lee Jung-hoo (San Francisco Giants). He was recruited by a team that needed rebuilding the bullpen in order to increase his player base. Players who played in the Major League often got “quotes,” so it can be said that he turned his eyes to players from Asia who might feel unfamiliar to batters.
The San Diego Padres once recruited players who played in the Japanese pro baseball league. Nick Martinez of the Cincinnati Reds played for the Nippon-Ham Fighters and the Softbank Hawks before signing a four-year contract with the San Diego Padres. Roberto Suarez of the San Diego Padres joined the San Diego Padres after playing for the Softbank and Hanshin Tigers. This time, Ko Woo-suk became interested in the San Diego Padres and decided to join the Major League.
Uncertainty was high in the San Diego bullpen when Ko became a member of the San Diego Padres. There was also a big gap between starters Michael Waka and Seth Lugo who moved to the Kansas City Royals, and Martinez and Luis Garcia (Los Angeles Angels) also moved to different teams, which made it urgent to reorganize their pitching staff. When Ko joined the San Diego Padres in the meantime, the U.S. media classified him as a three-star shooter along with Yuki Matsui and Suarez. However, there was a variable for Wandy Peralta to join afterwards.
Manager Mike Shildt mentioned Peralta as one of the pitchers who will take the mound in the ninth inning along with Matsui and Suarez, who finished in Japan. Ko’s name was not mentioned at the time.
In fact, Ko Woo-seok knows his situation better than anyone else. In an interview for his departure, he said, “I know that the time given to me is not enough. So I think it is most important to play the season in the best condition and in the healthiest possible condition.” He also said, “I know that I am not good enough as a person who is challenging the big league 마카오카지노.”
However, Ko had similar experiences at LG. Now he has solidified his position to the point where Ko comes to mind when he finishes LG, but he was not always like that from the beginning. It is not that he is not one of the many candidates for finishing the game as he was in the case of Coach Silt. He was excluded from the list of candidates for finishing the game despite the evaluation that he is “not yet” but took the position with his skills.
It happened in 2019. At the time, LG had Jung Chan-heon (Kium Heroes) as the closing pitcher. However, Jung had undergone back surgery twice and was concerned about recurrence of pain (for this reason, he changed his position to a starting pitcher who can clearly manage his physical condition from 2020). Former coach Ryu Joong-il mentioned several players including Lee Jung-yong (Sangju Sangmu), who was a rookie, as candidates for the closing pitcher, but did not include Ko. Ko, who was in his third year as a member of the team, said, “Up until then, the ball was fast but his control was shaky. Ryu said, “I believe that I can become a closing candidate only when Ko has control over the ball.
However, he properly prepared for his third season as a professional player. Although he failed to completely reduce the number of walks, he has improved significantly in his strikeout abilities. There was no reason not to leave a fastball pitcher who knew how to strike out as the closing pitcher. When Jung Chan-heon left due to injury in April, manager Ryu Joong-il began to leave the back door to Ko. Ko made his first save against Kiwoom on April 21 by allowing one hit and no run in the first inning. Since then, he has posted 35 saves without losing a single game, ranking second in this category.
Ko Woo-suk intends to do his best to make his presence known in the U.S. first. When I asked him “the strengths he wants to show in the U.S., he answered, not fast balls or breaking balls.” “I think that no matter what country you go to, if you work or do something, you will like someone who is sincere the most,” he said with a smile.
The day after he arrives in the U.S., he will take a physical test and begin his camp life in San Diego. The exhibition game will take place from Friday. If he is recognized at the camp and exhibition games, he can confidently participate in the opening series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 20 and 21 at Gocheok Dome. Perhaps, he will see Ko throwing fastballs against the LG Twins batters. The San Diego Padres will have a Seoul Series special match warm-up match against the LG Twins at 12 p.m. on March 17.