“Wow, you’ve lost so much weight.” Jo Sangwoo finally returns to Gocheok. “I want to hear that you’ve become more reliable than before joining the military.”

Jo Sang-woo, who joined Nexen (currently Kiwoom) as the first overall pick in the first round of the rookie draft in 2013 after graduating from Daejeon High School, has established himself as Kiwoom’s closer since 2019. In 2020, he achieved career high with 53 games, 5 wins, 3 losses, 33 saves and an ERA of 2.15, and marked a career-high of 33 wins, 24 losses, 45 holds, 82 saves, and a 3.11 ERA in 299 games.

While he was solving military problems for two years as a social service worker after the end of the 2021 season, Kiwoom showed extreme performance. In 2022, he competed for the Korean Series title, but in 2023, he finished the season ranked 10th for the first time in his career amid various unfavorable factors. The name of Cho Sang-woo, the “finishing of the national team,” who was solid in 2022, when he had to leave the back door to starter Choi Won-tae (27, LG Twins), and in 2023, when the bullpen collapsed by ranking 9th (4.94) in the ERA league, was always mentioned. 안전 슬롯사이트

“When I went to the Korean Series in 2022, I cheered a lot, but I think it was a season when I was unlucky because there were many players who were sick last year,” Cho Sang-woo told Star News in an interview on Tuesday. “But experiencing the bottom place probably motivated the players a lot. Everyone must have felt the same way as me. As such, I want to work hard and finish this year with good results. I think it will be better than last year.”

The past two years were also a time of refreshment for Cho Sang-woo, who has been running tirelessly since his debut. Since his debut in the first division in 2013, Cho has thrown 6,936 pitches (6371 in the regular season + 565 in the post season) just for the Heroes. In particular, in 2021, the last year before joining the military, he played in six of the seven games and threw 146 pitches. Since joining the military, he has faithfully served in the military, and has not neglected to take care of his physical condition. As a result, he has become skinny and solid enough to make anyone see the difference. Rumor has it that every person I met surprised him, saying, “He really lost weight,” and “It feels like he was a rookie.” His first day at the Gocheok Dome in 2024, was not much different.

Cho Sang-woo said, “I built my body with the trainer who always helped me during the off-season. I used it a lot before I went to the military, so I reinforced it step by step and tried to increase my strength so that it wouldn’t hurt. As I focused on creating a body that wouldn’t hurt, my elbow and other physical conditions are really good.”

While building his body, he also prepared new pitches separately. After going to a 15-day mini-camp in Miyazaki, Japan with his teammate Park Seung-joo (30), on Thursday, he plans to further polish and hone his pitches. “In the upcoming mini-camp in Japan, I plan to throw as many pitches as I have thrown less than other players over the past two years. I am still raising my pitches, so I did not measure my pitches. I will also release new pitches in the season, but I am not a sweeper. I didn’t think of a sweeper because the slider I originally have is angled rather than fast. I think the most important thing for a pitcher is to find what suits me. You can think of a new pitcher as a breaking ball a little faster than a sweeper,” Cho said.

Kiwoom is a team that is taking on new challenges in 2024. Lee Jung-hoo (26) and Ahn Woo-jin (25), who were key pitchers and hitters, left for Major League Baseball and military service, respectively. There are also many players without Lim Chang-min (39) and Kim Tae-hoon (32) of the Samsung Lions. In particular, the role of the bullpen has become important as there are no other starting pitchers but two foreign players. Jo Sang-woo, who just returned home, is a big player in Kiwoom.

Cho Sang-woo said, “I thought two years was short, but I think it was a long time. I have a lot of new faces, but I try to get closer quickly by talking a lot during the camp. They said they left a lot, but the players who used to be in the center such as (Moon) Sung-hyun and (Ha) Young-min are still trying to cheer up together,” adding, “I hope they keep wanting to play (for the same bullpen pitchers). Each game is his performance and everything is a record, so I hope he doesn’t be afraid to go out and keep playing and bumping into each other.”

For me personally, this year is an important season. It is the first year since his return from military service, but if he finishes the full season without injury, he can challenge the Major League Baseball through the posting system. Last week, Ko Woo-suk (26) of the San Diego Padres became the first professional bullpen pitcher to enter the Major League with a contract period of up to 9.4 million U.S. dollars, giving hope to Cho Sang-woo.

Cho Sang-woo said, “I still have a dream about Major League Baseball. However, I have to do well when I am good at it. So, rather than paying attention to Major League Baseball, I just want to come back and do my best,” adding, “I hope (Go) Woo-suk goes there and does well. He throws good pitches, so I’m rooting for him to do well.”

Kiwoom fans have high expectations for Cho Sang-woo who took a rest. Cho Sang-woo has returned after taking two years off from work because he has filled up areas that he has not been able to strengthen. “I am not thinking about saving king or anything like that. If you set a goal and you are buried in it, your balance will collapse, so your goal is always to play full time without getting hurt,” Cho said.

“For our fans, I want to hear the words ‘I feel more reassured’ than before I went to the military. For the long-time fans who know when I was really good, I want to leave a memory that ‘Cho Sang-woo has not changed, I feel reassured.’ Personally, it was in 2019 that I played in front of a large crowd, but I couldn’t do that when I left (for the military). Thinking about playing in front of many fans after a long time makes me excited and I think it will be fun,” he said with a big smile.

10 thoughts on ““Wow, you’ve lost so much weight.” Jo Sangwoo finally returns to Gocheok. “I want to hear that you’ve become more reliable than before joining the military.”

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