KBO unveils Premier 12 schedule

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KBO unveils Premier 12 schedule

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced on Tuesday the national team’s schedule for the upcoming Premier 12 international baseball tournament, which also includes a friendly game with Cuba.

The inaugural Premier 12, organized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation, will be played from Nov. 8 to 21 in Taipei and Japan. Korea is in Group B along with Japan, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico.

The KBO said that the 28-man national team will be summoned on Oct. 26 and will train until Nov. 3. The national team will then host the Cuban national team at Gocheok Sky Dome, the nation’s first-ever full dome completed this month, on Nov 4. and 5 for a tune-up.

This will be the first time in seven years that the two national teams will square off. They last met at the 2008 Beijing Olympics final, where Korea won 3-2 to claim the gold medal.

The KBO said the national team will then leave for Sapporo, Japan, where it will play the first game of the Premier 12 with Japan two days later.

The national team will then play Taipei on Nov. 9 for its other games in Group B before the quarterfinals are played from Nov. 16.

The team, led by manager Kim In-sik, has already selected its 28-man roster on Oct. 7, which includes only two overseas-based players.

The KBO selected slugger Lee Dae-ho of the Softbank Hawks and pitcher Rhee Dae-eun of the Chiba Lotte Marines, both of whom are Japan-based.

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Kang Jung-ho and the Texas Rangers’ Choo Shin-soo were previously included in the provisional 45-man squad but were cut for the final roster. Major League Baseball has not allowed players on each teams’ 40-man roster to play for the Premier 12.

In the final roster, Kia Tigers lefty ace Yang Hyun-jong and closer Yoon Suk-min were also left out, as both were injured, according to the team.

Doosan Bears left-hander Yoo Hee-kwan, who went 18-5 with a 3.94 ERA, is also not on the roster. The 29-year-old on Monday won the Choi Dong-won Award, which is given to the best Korean pitcher of the season. The KBO technical committee has previously said his style may not be competitive at the international level.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [joo.kyungdon@joongang.co.kr]

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