Could Hanwha Eagles specialty right-hander Moon Dong-ju’s 130-inning limit be lifted?

Making his professional debut in the 2022 season, Moon is a right-hander who has garnered a lot of attention for his fastball that touches 160 mph. Despite a few injuries in his rookie season, he showed promise, going 1-3 with a 5.65 ERA in 13 games.

This year, he’s taken it to the next level. He has solidified himself in the starting rotation and is 6-7 with a 3.39 ERA in 19 appearances (98.1 innings) as of 12 games ago.

However, as originally planned, Moon will pitch in the next three or four games this year and then finish the 2023 season. This is due to Hanwha’s policy of protecting its younger players. Former manager Carlos Subero realized that Moon, who throws a 160-kilometer fastball, could be at risk of injury if he pitched too many innings.

As a result, Hanwha has strictly managed Moon’s innings since last year. The team originally planned for him to pitch up to 100 innings last season, but due to several injuries during the season, he only pitched 28.2 innings.

After limiting himself to 120-130 innings this season, Moon was also selected to represent Korea at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games in mid-September to early October. There are not many games left for him to pitch in this year’s league, including the Asian Games.

In this situation, Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho is willing to change his plans. “I’m still talking to the club,” Choi said recently. “Each player’s physical condition needs to be managed differently,” Choi said, adding, “Each player’s body and story of playing baseball are different, and if you set the same guidelines and manage them, it’s just a gut feeling.

“Only a doctor can give this opinion. That’s why we’ve been checking in every three months before and during the season, and based on that, the doctor can say, ‘You’re fine,’ or ‘This might be a little risky,’ or whatever. “I think it’s smarter to move based on that,” he said. “If you’re a rookie and you have a 100-inning limit, and you throw four to 50 innings, and then two or three months go by and it doesn’t feel good, you might not make it to 100 innings. I think it should be flexible depending on the doctor’s opinion.”

In the end, Choi said that depending on the doctor’s opinion, Moon might pitch more than planned. Choi said, “(Moon) will get a doctor’s report after the Asian Games. We’ll judge based on what we’ve taken so far and what the doctor’s opinion is,” Choi said. “It’s a double-check with the doctor’s office and the hospital.안전놀이터

They will never force anyone to do anything. “I think the ligaments are more damaged when you throw a fastball than when you throw a pitch with a lower velocity,” says Choi. “If the medical staff says that Moon’s body is no longer able to handle it (after the Asian Games), we will stop him from pitching, even if he has pitched fewer innings than expected,” Choi said.

How Hanwha manages Moon will have a significant impact on the team’s performance this season. Hanwha is currently building a starting rotation that includes Felix Peña, Ricardo Sanchez, Moon Dong-ju, and Han Seung-hyuk. The loss of Moon Dong-ju, who has done his job well enough, would leave a hole in the starting lineup. Depending on Moon’s innings limitations, Hanwha’s final ranking this season could also change.

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