Korean players toss out winter for new seasonNow that Major League Baseball spring training camps have begun, the slate has been wiped clean, the embarrassing losses are (mostly) forgotten, and the glow from last year’s triumphs has faded a bit. It’s time to focus on the new season, and Korean players are ready to do their part.
The Texas Rangers’ Park Chan-ho, 30, who started throwing on Sunday, left the mound after 52 pitches, starting with fastballs and then gradually moving to his curveball and changeup.
In an interview with local reporters, the pitcher said that mentally and physically he is at an optimal level, with his body about 90 percent ready.
Mr. Park also told reporters that his goal for the season was to start 30 games and to throw more than 200 innings. In his eight-year career in the majors, Mr. Park accomplished that three times (in 1998, 2000, 2001) and had at least 15 wins in each of those seasons.
Kim Byung-hyun of the Boston Red Sox, 25, who is scheduled to make $10 million over the next two years, also joined his spring training camp on Sunday. After a brief physical check-up, he threw 30 pitches in the bullpen under the watchful eye of General Manager Theo Epstein and finished the day with an hour of weight training.
Other Korean pitchers who have reported to spring camps include Seo Jae-weong, 26, of the New York Mets; Song Seung-jun, 23, and Kim Sun-woo, 26, of the Montreal Expos; and Baek Cha-seung, a pitching prospect for the Seattle Mariners.
Choi Hee-seop, 24, who was traded in the off-season from the Chicago Cubs to the Florida Marlins to play first base, and Chu Shin-soo, 21, an outfielder prospect of the Seattle Mariners, are scheduled to begin spring training on Friday.
by Lee Tae-il