Ko Woo-seok, who traded for the batting king, when is the MIA call-up?…Is ‘151km+ERA 3.38’ still worth it

May 26, 2024 | by

Ko Woo-suk (26) continues his challenge to the U.S. Major League. Despite the pain of being traded from the San Diego Padres to the Miami Marlins without receiving any big league call-ups, he is in the process of proving his worth in Triple-A in the Minor League.

Ko Woo-suk, a member of Triple-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp under the Miami Marlins, pitched as the second pitcher in the bottom of the fourth inning against Gwinnett Streepers (Triple-A under the Atlanta Braves) 1-1 at Culey Field in Lawrenceville, Georgia, on the 25th (Korea time), and became the winning pitcher as he allowed no hits and one walk in two innings. It was a good pitching that laid the foundation for Jacksonville’s 8-3 victory, and Ko’s first win in the U.S.

Ko threw 27 pitches during two innings, mixing 16 fastballs with a cutter (nine) and two sliders. His fastest fastball speed was 93.9 miles (about 151 kilometers) and his average speed was 92.6 miles (149 kilometers), while his cutter speed was 89.4 miles (144 kilometers).
However, Jacksonville did not pay much attention to the result of Ko’s pitching. The team news written by the Jacksonville club did not mention Ko at all when discussing the game. It only highlighted the performance of the batters, who scored six points in a large number in the fifth inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Koh easily handled leadoff hitter Alejo López with a fly ball to center field. He allowed a walk when his fastball, which he tried to throw low in the match against the next batter, Skybolt, left the strike zone, but he handled three out counts neatly as he handled the next batter, Andrew Velazquez, with a double play by second baseman.

Then, the batters scored six points en masse in the top of the fifth inning, giving Ko a requirement as a winning pitcher. With no outs and runners on the first and third bases, Jabeur Edwards hit a timely hit to the right to give the team a 2-1 lead, and Victor Mesa Jr. made timely hits in succession, running away 3-1.

Tristan Gray hit a timely two-run single in the middle to make the bases loaded, making it 5-1. Jumbo Shrimp’s bat on fire did not know how to stop. When Troy Johnston grounded out to the second base with no outs, he had an RBI single to widen the gap to 6-1, and when Jabeur Sanoha hit a timely hit to the right field with one out and runners on the second and third bases, he made a 7-1 run.

Ko took the mound in the bottom of the fifth inning as well, and continued pitching. He pitched three outs in a clean way. He grounded out to first base to leadoff hitter JP Martinez, and replaced Sean Murphy with a grounder to shortstop. Then, Ellie White grounded out to second base to complete the mission.

After leading the team to a combined championship as the closing pitcher of the LG Twins last year, Ko suddenly announced that he would advance to the U.S.A. The LG Twins allowed Ko to challenge the Major League through the posting system after painstaking efforts, and Ko signed a two-year deal worth 4.5 million U.S. dollars with the San Diego Padres, which seemed to fulfill his dream. As the team is played by Kim Ha-sung (29), who solidly established himself as the starting infielder, many had high expectations that Ko would be able to adapt himself to the team. However, he did not have enough ball power during the spring camp, and was informed that he would end up in the Minor League Double-A season.

Instead of waiting for Ko to recover his ball power, the San Diego Padres used his ball power as a trade card. San Diego needed to strengthen its batting lineup, but when Miami put forward Louis Araes, it made a trade by sending promising players including Go Woo-suk, outfielder Dylan Head and Jacob Marcy, and first baseman Nathan Matorella to Miami. Among the four players San Diego sent, Go was still the closest to a 스포츠토토 Major League call-up.

As he moved to Miami, he was promoted directly from Double-A in the Minor League to Triple-A. The U.S. media expected that it would be easier for him to go to Miami than San Diego to overcome the Major League roster, and in fact, he is a little closer to the Major League threshold.

It has already been four months since he started a new challenge in the U.S. Although he could have given up due to his difficult position and unstable minor league life, Ko has been holding firm for now. In six Triple-A games, Ko has one win, one hold, eight innings and a 3.38 ERA.

It is true that Ko Woo-seok’s ball power in the process of achieving 139 saves in Korea is not yet high. If the average speed is 149 km, it may not be easy to target major league hitters. Even in Triple A, Ko Woo-seok’s hit rate is high at 0.300.

Ko is enduring a difficult U.S. life with the mindset of stepping on the Major League mound and returning anyways. Regarding Ko at the time of the trade, Miami General Manager Peter Bendicks said, “He has had a great career in Korea. When you come to a foreign league like Korea that you are not familiar with, it can be difficult to adjust to. We think Ko has shown the ability to adapt. We look positive. We like his ball, we like his attitude. I think he is a player who can contribute to our Major League team’s bullpen.” When will Miami give Ko an opportunity to prove this assessment? Ko is doing his best to shorten that time.


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