Starters locked in…ready to return to the first team…it’s time for ‘The Hooligan’ “Great opportunity, thank you”

Kim Dong-ju (21-Dusan Bears) 메이저놀이터 has earned the starting job this season. The 2021 second-round pick (10th overall) made his first appearance with the first team last year, pitching 16⅔ innings in 10 games.

He has a hard-hitting fastball and a good changeup from his 6-foot-4 frame. He competed for a starting job this season and won a spot.

With a 2-4 record and a 3.23 ERA in 10 games this season, he took a break from pitching against the KIA Tigers on March 9. After taking some time off, he was ready for his comeback when he threw 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief with four hits and two strikeouts in an exhibition game against the Tax University on March 27. His fastball topped out at 148 mph and he mixed in a slider (134-136 mph), curve (115-117 mph), and fork (134-137 mph).

Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop removed Jang Won-jun from the first-team roster on May 29, saying he would fill the spot with Kim Dong-joo. Barring any “weather variables,” Kim will start against the Samsung Lions in Pohang on April 4.

“I was in good shape after resting,” said Kim, who is building up his body at the Icheon Bears Park in Gyeonggi-do. “My fastball was better than I thought (in the tax game). My changeup felt a little off, but my overall power wasn’t bad.”

His performance wasn’t too bad considering it was his first year as a starter. Although he was disappointed to be left off the first team roster, he said, “I think the manager and coach had a plan. “I think the manager and coach all had an idea in mind,” he said, “and I just need to come in and do a good job.” “As I played, I noticed changes in my form and changeup, so I thought I needed to find the right points. It’s hard to say he’s 100 percent yet, but he’s improving a lot.”

Lee talked about “locking in the start” as a way to utilize Kim Dong-ju. Even if his start is delayed due to rain, he’d rather have him pitch in the Futures League than use him in the bullpen.

Kim said, “I feel like I’m lucky to get the opportunity. Now I have to take advantage of it. There is pressure, but I’m grateful because I can’t miss a good opportunity.” “I think I have to help the team win no matter what. I’m preparing well with the idea that I shouldn’t harm the team,” he emphasized.

Kim Dong-joo said, “I feel that the seniors who rotate in the first team are really amazing, especially those who consistently win more than 10 games, and I learned that it takes a lot of hard work. Once I make it to the first team, I will do my best inning by inning to help the team win. If I do that, I think good things will happen.”

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