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It's a 6.1 billion guarantee contract..."Why did SD send Go Woo

San Diego Padres President AJ Preller revealed why he sent Ko Woo-suk (26) to Double-A rather than Triple-A Minor League.

In an interview ahead of the 2024 Major League Baseball home opener against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park in San Diego, California on the 29th (Korea time), Freller said, "I think Double A is the most suitable league for Ko in the process of building up for the season. I did it."

Ko is a top-rated closing pitcher who pitched in a total of 354 games (368 innings) in the KBO League with 19 wins, 26 losses, 6 holds, 139 saves and a 3.18 ERA. His trademark is a fastball that can reach speeds of up to 160 km/h. Last season, he recorded 3-8 losses and 15 saves with a 3.68 ERA in 44 games (44 innings), contributing to LG's first Korean Series championship in 29 years. After the end of the season, he declared his entry into the Major League through posting messages and successfully secured a two-year 4.5 million dollar contract with San Diego.

However, Ko's Major League debut is not smooth. After struggling with two losses and a hold ERA of 12.60 in six games (5 innings) in the spring training exhibition game, Ko visited Korea for the opening two consecutive games against the Los Angeles Dodgers held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 20th and 21st. However, he struggled with two hits (one homer) and two strikeouts and two runs in an inning in a special game of the Seoul Series against the home team LG Twins on the 18th, and eventually was excluded from the opening roster to start the season in the minor leagues.

Manager Mike Shildt said, "Go had a hard time. It was a tough decision. While watching the bullpen pitching, I had no choice but to make a tough decision. I thought I wasn't ready yet." "I thought the coaching staff would need a period of adjustment from the spring camp, and I discussed with Ko in advance," he said explaining why he excluded Ko from the Major League roster.

Ko's big league opportunities have not completely disappeared yet. Shildt said, "I told Ko to keep working hard. I started the season a little slow. You have to wait for the next game. You are doing well, but I think there is a lot of room for improvement. If you keep training and raise your condition to your best, you will have a chance to see him again at the ballpark."

The San Diego Padres sent Ko to Double-A instead of Triple-A to prepare for the season. The Pacific Coast League (PCL), which includes El Paso Chihuahua, a Triple-A team under San Diego, is an extremely high-risk league with an ERA of 5.69. On the other hand, the Texas League (TL), which includes Double-A San Antonio Missions, recorded an ERA of 4.79 last season.

"Although Ko is not going to make a rehabilitation pitch, we decided that playing in Double A would be good for the continuous build-up process," Preller said. "Double A has many coaches we trust, including pitching coaches. For players, PCL can be a difficult environment. From the club's point of view, TL can be viewed as a cleaner indicator than PCL when evaluating pitchers." He explained that playing in Double A rather than Triple A, which is highly likely to have poor performance due to extreme riding and pitching, is to record good performance and get a chance to be called up to the Major League quickly.
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Friday, March 29, 2024
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