Doosan Bears closer Park Chi-kook was removed from the first team roster on Wednesday due to shoulder pain.
“My shoulder hasn’t felt good since the last 10 days (against the Samsung Lions),” Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop said before the team’s game against the SSG Landers at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul.
Park is expected to return to the first team after four days of rest and play catch as soon as the pain goes away.
Park has been the backbone of Doosan this season, going 5-2 with a 3.22 ERA in 58 games, two saves and 11 holds.
“I think there will be a loss (in power) because he plays such an important role,” Lee said, adding, “We will play the game with the remaining players such as Kim Kang-ryul and Choi Ji-kang.”
Doosan left Kim out of the lineup and promoted left-hander Baek Seung-woo and right-hander Park So-joon to the first team.
Baek had a 6.89 ERA in 35 games and 32⅔ innings for the Futures (second-tier) League this year. Park, who underwent elbow surgery last year, has pitched 10 innings and one run (one earned) in three games for the second team since returning.
“Baek Seung-woo is reported to be the best in the second team right now, and Park So-joon has performed well in three games after his surgery,” Lee said.
Meanwhile, Lee gave encouragement to homegrown starter Kwak Bin, who has been struggling lately.
Kwak, who won 10 games last season, collapsed in his two appearances this month, allowing 13 runs (nine earned) on 13 hits in 7⅓ innings.
“For a higher goal (than 10 wins), we need to reduce the gap (in each game),” Lee said, expressing his belief that “Kwak-bin is the best in Korea as long as his strikeout rate improves, so if he takes it easy and keeps it simple, he will definitely pitch well.”
“I hope he will have a strong mind and approach his next pitch with the pride of being the ace of the Korean national team and the one-two punch of a foreigner on our team,” he said. 파워볼