Does Mike Shildt, director of the San Diego Padres, have any idea for “finishing” Ko Woo-suk? In response to a question about the “Closer” candidate, Ko Woo-suk was not mentioned.
The San Diego Union Tribune in the U.S. held a Q&A session with head coach Mike Shildt on the 3rd (Korean time). The head coach was asked about the finish caused by the departure of Josh Hader, the “special finish,” but Ko Woo-seok’s name could not be found.마카오카지노
San Diego took a very aggressive move in the winter of 2022-2023. At that time, the New York Mets’ “broad strides” led by billionaire Steve Cohen did not attract much attention, but San Diego invested an astronomical amount to prevent the leakage of its core power by recruiting Xander Bogaerts, the biggest free agent player in the FA, and signing extended contracts with major hitters Manny Machado and Darvish Yu and Jake Cronenworth, 197 wins in the U.S.-Japan career.
At the time, local media expressed concern over San Diego investing huge amounts of money to reinforce its power capabilities. San Diego’s finances were not well established. Concerns have become a reality. During the last season, San Diego desperately took out 50 million U.S. dollars in loans to deal with players’ salary problems. This also affected the Stove League this time.
San Diego felt burdened by paying the high ransom for Juan Soto, who is about to become an FA, and parted ways with the best on-base machine in the Major League after matching cards with the New York Yankees. And he faced a situation where he had no choice but to just watch the departure of key players such as “Special Finisher” Josh Hader, Michael Waka, Seth Lugo, Nick Martinez, and Tim Hill, including the winner of the Cy Young Award, Blake Snell, and others. Snell’s destination has not been decided yet, but it is unlikely that he will return to San Diego.
San Diego, which was struggling financially but couldn’t help but strengthen its power, started to overhaul its bullpen with a small amount of money. San Diego began to move little by little as it recruited Yuki Matsui, the youngest Japanese professional baseball player to build a 200-save gold tower in the history of the Japanese professional baseball through a five-year, $28 million (about 37.5 billion won) contract.
Since then, San Diego has signed a two-year, $4.5 million (about 6 billion won) contract just before the posting of Ko Woo-seok, the best closing pitcher in the KBO League, and on the 1st, it brought in Wandy Peralta, who has a total of 60 holds and 13 saves in the major leagues, for four years and $16.5 million (about 22.1 billion won). In the case of Ko Woo-suk and Matsui, it is close to a “not-scratching lottery” as they have no major league experience, but for now, San Diego put out the fire that fell on their feet.
Then who will finish the 2024 season of San Diego? When Ko entered San Diego, multiple U.S. media initially predicted that Ko, Matsui, and Robert Suarez would compete for the back door. However, in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune after holding Peralta in his arms, Coach Mike Shildt left out the question when asked about finishing the game.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Coach Shildt said, “The good news is that we have a lot of candidates,” adding, “Obviously, Robert Suarez has played that role and has the ability and mentality to take on the finishing touch. Yuki Matsui has been playing a finishing role in Japan for many years, and we recruited Wandy Peralta, who pitched in a situation where the leverage (crisis) was high for several years.”
Shildt continued, “I’m not going to give a clear answer. Because depending on the day, depending on the matchup, anyone can finish. We’ll evaluate how the closing race goes through spring camp. And we can relatively flow depending on the situation. The best bullpen is when you have multiple players who can pitch in different situations. So it’s hard to say a single closing pitcher at this point.”
Japan’s multiple media also noted that coach Shildt did not mention Ko Woo-suk’s name, as he predicted that he would compete with Matsui for the closing position when Ko entered San Diego. Japan’s “Sponichi Annex” pointed out, “The name of Ko Woo-suk, who moved from the LG Twins in the KBO League, was not mentioned as a point to note,” adding, “It was surprising that the best closing pitcher in the KBO League did not make it a candidate for Sooho-shin (finishing).”
It is obviously regrettable that Ko Woo-suk has not been mentioned in the closing ranks of Matsui, Suarez, and Peralta, but it is premature to be disappointed. Shildt announced his intention to select the right post after watching the closing ranks of the candidates at the spring camp. It can be seen that no decision has been made on whether to hire several pitchers as the closing ranks or to display a fixed finishing system with one player.
It is certainly an unwelcome situation for Ko Woo-suk, but it is not unlikely. You can prove your value through spring camp. Will Ko Woo-suk be able to take charge of the back door of San Diego through spring camp competition.