Hanwha pitcher Moon Dong-ju is expected to finish the season early at the end of August due to the inning limit in the second half. According to Hanwha’s 메이저놀이터 current management guidelines, throwing as a member of the national team at the Hangzhou Asian Games in September will be the last pitch. What if Hanwha fights to advance to the postseason at the end of the season in October?

Moon Dong-ju appeared in 16 games (83 innings) in the first half and finished with an average ERA of 3.47 with 6 wins and 6 losses. In the game against LG in Jamsil on the 12th, he pitched flawlessly until the 7th inning and became the winning pitcher with 1 run in 7⅓ innings. Until his first appearance in the second half, he will take a two-week break, including the All-Star break. 

Moon Dong-ju, who is in his second year this year, mentioned the inning limit from the beginning of the season. In the first year of his debut last year, Moon Dong-ju threw a total of 42 innings (28⅔ innings for the first team and 13⅓ for the second group) due to two injuries. He took 120 innings (plus 10 innings) as his limit this year. 

On the last LG expedition in the first half, coach Choi Won-ho said of Moon Dong-ju, “I play about 7 games in the second half. If he says he throws an average of about 5 innings, that’s about 35 innings. The last week of August (seven appearances) ends. He finishes in 115 innings to the maximum of 120,” he said.

If Moon Dong-ju starts and plays 7 innings, the number of appearances can be reduced.

Coach Choi said, “Wouldn’t you like to pitch 10 innings at the Asian Games? If you pitch in one game in the preliminaries and one in the semifinals and finals, it will be about 15 innings even if you catch enough.”

If Moon Dong-ju throws 120 innings by the end of August, there will be about three weeks left until the Asian Games. Coach Choi explained, “In about three weeks, I can adjust my condition like pitchers who go straight to the Korean Series after the season.” He can prepare for the Asian Games by playing catch ball in the first week, pitching in the second week, and pitching 2-3 innings in the third week.

If Moon Dong-ju, who is limited in innings, ends the season early at the end of August, he can become a variable in the race for the rookie of the year. Moon Dong-ju ranked 12th among pitchers and 5th among domestic pitchers with a WAR of 2.00 in the first half. He ranks first among players who qualify for Rookie of the Year, including fielders.

Moon Dong-ju, who set a new record (160.1 km) for the highest speed of a pitcher in Korea last April and shows off his fastball speed with an average speed of over 150 km, is considered the number one rookie of the year.

However, if the number of appearances in September-October is ‘0’ due to inning restrictions and participation in the Asian Games, the Rookie of the Year game can become interesting depending on the results of the competitors at the end of the season.

Moon Dong-ju is currently the 3rd starter in the Hanwha starting rotation following Pena and Sanchez’s foreign pitcher one-two punch. If Dong-ju Moon is out of the starting lineup from September, the local starting lineup is expected to rotate with Jang Min-jae, Han Seung-hyuk, Kim Seo-hyun, and Kim Min-woo (during a shoulder injury).

Director Choi said, “I will appoint two out of three people, Seung-hyuk Han, Min-jae Jang, and Seo-hyun Kim,” for the 4th and 5th starting positions in the second half.

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