The strongest shield – the strongest spear is back… Goo Chang-mo and Kang Baek-ho’s comeback countdown

NC (NC) Dinos and Katie (KT) Wiz, who won the combined championship in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, respectively. The glory days were short, and the two clubs are hovering in the top 8-10 in the 2022 season. However, a rescue force is coming, who will be the driving force for the rebound. They are Gu Chang-mo (25, NC) and Kang Baek-ho (23, KT). They were the main players in the team’s first unified championship, but start the 2022 season late due to injury.


Gu Chang-mo is expected to be registered in the first-team entry this weekend as early as possible. He disappeared from the first team after appearing in Game 6 of the Korean Series in the 2020 season. Changmo Koo stood as the best left-hander in the KBO league with a record of 9 wins and an undefeated ERA of 1.74 in 2020, but took the entire 2021 season off due to a stress fracture in his left forearm (between the elbow and wrist). He was expected to be together from the start this year, but suffered a hamstring injury during spring camp and had to spend time in rehabilitation again.


In the Futures League, they had a warm-up time. He showed good pitching content against Sangmu on the 11th (2 innings, 2 hits, 1 strikeout and 1 run), against Kia on the 17th (3 innings, 2 hits, 3 strikeouts), and on the 22nd against Samsung (4⅔ innings, 2 hits, 5 strikeouts and 1 run) . His top speed was set at 148 km/h. NC acting coach Kang In-kwon said, “I plan to schedule a later date after pitching the bullpen on the 26th and seeing the condition.” Since he has already increased the number of pitches to 68 in the second team, he is expected to start against Doosan at the earliest this weekend. In NC, Song Myung-ki was moved to the second team, and there is currently a shortage of starting pitchers.


Kang Baek-ho, who helped Katie win the championship last year, is expected to return in early June. Kang Baek-ho fell off the stairs at the end of March, just before the opening ceremony, and suffered a fractured right little toe. He was initially expected to have a hiatus of about a month, but as a result of the re-examination, he was diagnosed that it would take three to four months to recover. Fortunately, the recovery speed is fast, and it is known that he will be able to join the first team in early June. Kang Baek-ho helped the team to top the KBO league with a batting average of 0.347 and 16 home runs and 102 RBIs, including over 40,000 batting average until the first half of last year.


In addition to Kang Baek-ho, foreign batter Henry Ramos (30) has been out for more than a month with a toe injury. However, Park Byeong-ho (36), who has awakened his home run instinct, is barely holding on to the other line, but it is not enough. Ramos is also expected to return to the first team with Kang Baek-ho. This is why director Lee Kang-cheol emphasized until recently, “You only have to endure until May.”

Shim Jae-hak, commentator of MBC Sports Plus, said, “It will be of great help to NC if Goo Chang-mo fills the starting rotation with a healthy figure in a situation where Song Myeong-ki, Parsons, and Lee Yong-chan are missing.” Regarding Kang Baek-ho, he said, “Katy has been showing a different side from last year, but when Kang Baek-ho returns, the weight of the other ship will change and he will have the strength to run in the future.”


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