Hanwha’s Kim Min-woo aims for a comeback: “I’ll pitch longer innings next year”
Going into the 2023 season, Kim Min-woo (28-Hanwha)’s goal was to pitch as many innings as possible as a starter. In recent years, Kim has consistently accomplished this goal as Hanwha’s native starter.
After completing 144 innings for the first time since his debut in 2021, Kim posted a career-high 14-10 record with a 4.00 ERA in 29 games (155.1 innings) that year. The following year, he pitched 163 innings in 29 more games, and while he continued to be an “innings-eater,” he won just six games (11 losses) and saw his ERA rise to 4.36.
Min-woo Kim looked to rebound this season. While things didn’t go his way, he still took the mound with the intention of contributing to the team. An unexpected injury stopped him in his tracks. Kim Min-woo started against Sasik Lotte on June 14, but felt shoulder pain in the first inning and was replaced by the next pitcher. Upon further examination, he was diagnosed with a torn right shoulder muscle. It was a major injury that required about three months of rehabilitation.
The rehabilitation process went well. After a quick recovery, Kim made a relief appearance in a Futures League game against LG on February 2, pitching one scoreless inning to get a feel for the game. Three days later, he started against Doosan and pitched two scoreless innings. However, it’s unlikely we’ll see him in the first team for the rest of the season. Kim will participate in an educational league in Japan next month. It’s a decision with next season in mind.
“Personally, I thought this year was an important season, but my biggest regret is that I had to stop because of an injury,” Kim said when we met at the Hanwha second team training center in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do.캡틴토토
It has been a particularly unlucky season for him. On May 14 against the Incheon SSG, Kim took a hard hit to the right elbow that kept him out of the game for a while. “As a starting pitcher, I’ve been responsible for long innings for the past few years, and this season, I had the desire to play more innings,” he said, “and it was very unfortunate to get hit by the ball and get injured in the process.”
His goal for the next season was again ‘innings’. “My goal for the new season was always the same. “My goal for the new season was always the same: to go through a season as a starting pitcher without getting injured and be responsible for a lot of innings,” he said. “I will work on my deficiencies from now on and become a pitcher who can help the team without getting injured next year.