After an Asiad vacation, the KBO returns in full force today
The KBO took a two-week break during the Asian Games to allow players that were called up to the national team to concentrate on taking home a gold for Korea. The rest of the team has spent the last two weeks preparing for the final sprint to the postseason.
While the national team headed off to Indonesia, the rest of the KBO enjoyed a short break before heading down the Futures League to polish off their swings and toss a few balls before the league returns today.
Unlike during the Asia Professional Baseball Championship last year, Korean players were not injured during the Asian Games and all are expected to return to their individual team’s rosters to begin playing immediately. Choi Won-tae of the Nexen Heroes did complain of some pain his elbow during the Asiad, but there have been no reports suggesting he won’t return to the KBO.
In the last month of the regular season, it is likely to be a race for the wild-card spot, with four teams - the LG Twins, Samsung Lions, Lotte Giants and the Kia Tigers - vying for the final postseason ticket.
Since the All-Star break, there have been some changes in the standing, with the Heroes cruising their way up to fourth spot after an 11-game winning streak, while the Twins moved down a spot following a disappointing nine-game losing streak.
Based on the performance of the team’s players at the Asian Games, the Heroes are expected to continue their stride in the remaining season.
The regular season will end on Sept. 30. Starting in October, the KBO will reschedule canceled games before finalizing the five teams in the postseason. The Korean Series is unlikely to be played before November this year.
BY KANG YOO-RIM, JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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