Hanwha Eagles Moon Dong-joo’s 2023 regular season is now over. However, Moon Dong-ju’s baseball season is expected to end only in December.
Moon Dong-ju was selected as a member of the 스포츠토토 national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games, which will be held from October 1, and was also included in the 62-member preliminary list for the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) national team, which will be held for four days from November 16 at Tokyo Dome in Japan. Given Moon Dong-joo’s skills, if there are no injuries, there is a high possibility that he will be selected as the final entry for the national team.
Moon Dong-ju ends the season with an away game against the LG Twins in Jamsil on the 3rd. He pitched 28⅔ innings last year, but this year he pitched 114⅓ innings as a regular starter. He decided to end the season early so as not to overwork himself.
Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said about Moon Dong-joo’s schedule after his last appearance, “He will prepare for the Asian Games. First, he will recover according to the schedule prepared by Futures, do bullpen pitching a few times, pitch once or twice every 2-3 days, and once he joins, his condition will be good. “It would be best,” he said. “Teams that advance directly to the Korean Series will rest for about 3 weeks after the end of the season. Moon Dong-joo has about 4 weeks until the tournament, so he will rest about a week longer than teams that advance directly to the Korean Series. In terms of position, he is a national team pitcher. “I think it might be the best among them,” he said.
However, I was worried about going to APBC again a month after the Asian Games. This is because you need to rest and then build up your body again to improve your condition. Since it is a four-day tournament, if Moon Dong-joo takes the mound, he will likely pitch only once. You have to prepare your body for a month to be able to play in one class. Coach Choi said, “It may be good to participate in international competitions to strengthen international competitiveness, improve skills and techniques, and make baseball a success,” but added, “There may be a difference between recovering and preparing for next year and recovering and then throwing again.” I did not welcome participation in international competitions.
Coach Choi continued, “It may be unreasonable if a pitcher who pitched in the pennant race and pitched all the way to the postseason makes it to the APBC. Pitchers who have pitched a lot end up throwing a lot,” and added, “Isn’t it like throwing again in the winter league right after finishing the season?” He said.
As the Asian Games national team was decided to consist of players under the age of 25, it became similar to the composition of the APBC representative players, which consists of players under the age of 24 (born after January 1999) or within 3 years of joining the team, and young prospects are selected each year. A situation was created where too many games were played.
It is bound to be a common concern for players selected for both the Asian Games and the APBC national team, especially pitchers.