“I thought I wanted to come (to the national team) all the time.”
Koo Chang-mo (26, NC Dinos) is ready to inherit the lineage of the national left-hander ace. The Korean baseball team, including Koo Chang-mo, entered Osaka, Japan on the 4th for the final inspection of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). The national team will warm up through training on the 5th, and on the 6th and 7th, they will meet the Orix Buffaloes and the Hanshin Tigers in order for an evaluation match.
The Korean baseball team is focusing on a generational change in this tournament. Kim Hyeon-soo (35, LG Twins), Kim Gwang-hyeon (35, SSG Landers), and Yang Hyeon-jong (35, KIA Tigers), who have been active on the international stage, are expected to put on the final Taegeuk mark.
Naturally, attention is focused on the next left-handed ace who will succeed Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong. The Japanese media paid attention to Kim Kwang-hyun as the ‘Japanese killer’ in this tournament, but also threw a question mark, ‘Is Korea still Kim Kwang-hyun?’ 안전놀이터
Gu Chang-mo is a left-hander who is consistently mentioned as the number 0 successor to ‘Kwang Hyeon-jong’. From 2020, when he began to develop his skills in earnest, to this year, Koo Chang-mo appeared in 33 games as a starter, recording 20 wins and 5 losses, 203⅔ innings, 209 strikeouts, and an average ERA of 1.94. NC gave such a large multi-year contract to Gu Chang-mo after last season for a total of 13.2 billion won for up to 6+1 years.
Regarding the meaning of the Taegeuk mark, Koo Chang-mo said, “I really like it. It’s good just to play baseball with good players. Once the national team comes, I think I have to keep coming. I came to APBC once and thought I wanted to come again. It seems more so this time.”
So far, the preparation process has not been bad. Ha-seong Kim (28, San Diego Padres) said after watching Chang-mo Koo’s live pitching ball from the plate on the 3rd, “The fastball and deception were good. He felt that he had power in his fastball while batting.”
Koo Chang-mo said, “I didn’t like it in the US, but when I came to Korea and pitched live, I got a little better than I did in the US, so I feel much better.”
Lee Kang-cheol, coach of the Korean national baseball team, said that he would finalize the idea of pitcher management in the evaluation matches on the 6th and 7th. Will Gu Chang-mo be able to safely finish the coronation ceremony for the successor of ‘Kwang Hyeon-jong’ by taking a clear picture of his eyes on director Lee?