Choi Won-tae (26, Kiwoom Heroes), who had been on a winning streak since the 2017 season by recording more than 10 wins in a row for three consecutive years, went downhill from the 2020 season. In the 2020 season, he could only play 21 games due to a right shoulder injury, and had an average ERA of 5.07 with 7 wins (6 losses). In the 2022 season, he was unable to stand on the mound for a while due to pelvic pain in mid-August. 

In the meantime, Choi Won-tae gave the position of ‘domestic ace’ to team junior Ahn Woo-jin. He was not listed on the roster for the US (Arizona) spring camp held last winter, and joined the Taiwan (Kaohsiung) camp, which was mostly composed of Futures (2nd team) team players. It seemed that his position within the team had narrowed.   

At the beginning of this season, after the second week of the KBO League, Choi Won-tae is one of the most stable pitchers. He only won one game due to the lack of scoring support from the other lineup, but the average earned run average (2.16) and batting average (0.225) in innings pitched per game (6 innings) are all in compliance. All three records are better than the team’s foreign pitchers (Eric Yokisi and Ariel Hurado). 
Going to the Taiwanese camp instead of the US was a blessing in disguise. Choi Won-tae talked a lot with pitching coach Shin Seong-yeong, practiced throwing by making his arm swing simple, and strengthened his game stamina by doing a lot of long toss. 

His ball formulation changes also work. Choi Won-tae, who mainly threw a four-seam fastball (fastball) in his debut season (2016), took a two-seam fastball (two-seam) as his main weapon from the 2017 season. As of the 2022 season, his two-seam throw rate was 46.3% and his fastball was 0.6%. 

However, Choi Won-tae threw far more four-seams (25) than two-seams (12) in the start against Incheon SSG Landers on the 22nd, when he pitched well with 2 runs in 6 innings. 

In the postseason last year (PS), Choi Won-tae received a proposal from two pitching coaches Shin Seong-young and Noh Byeong-oh to increase his fastball throwing rate again, and if he throws a mixture of the two types (four-seam and two-seam), he can shake the opponent’s hitting point more. I thought it was and tried to change it. 메이저사이트

Director Hong Won-ki Kiwoom paid attention to the pitching pattern and mental change. Director Hong said, “Choi Won-tae came out as a bullpen pitcher in PS last year, and it seems that he thought a lot about more effective pitch management and tempo control.” decreased,” he said. 

Choi Won-tae scored 8 scoreless innings against the Gocheok KIA Tigers on the 16th, when he had a “starter match” with league representative pitcher Yang Hyeon-jong. His pitch count on the day was only 82. He also threw a fastball of 146-7 km/h per hour in the 8th inning. Manager Hong Won-ki said, “Choi Won-tae said that he wanted to prevent as many innings as possible while mentioning the difficulties that bullpen pitchers have (managing physical strength). He seems satisfied with his sense of responsibility.” 

At the beginning of the season, Kiwoom’s offensive power subsided. All major indicators such as team batting average, runs scored, and home runs are in the lower ranks. However, the starting lineup is showing solid power by recording an average ERA (3.23) in the 3-point range. Excluding the record of the 5 starters (Jang Jae-young and Lee Seung-ho), the average ERA of the starters drops to 2.60. Choi Won-tae plays a strong 3rd starting role behind An Woo-jin and Yokishi’s one-two punch. 

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