The injury to Birch Smith (33, Hanwha), who voluntarily pitched in the third inning in the opening game, was found not to be serious. However, Hanwha is already moving in preparation for an unexpected situation. 

On the 3rd, Smith had X-rays and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of his right shoulder at two orthopedic clinics in Seoul. As a result of the examination, it was diagnosed that ‘there is a slight damage to the muscles that do not significantly affect pitching’. Smith complained of shoulder pain during the 3rd inning against Gocheok Kiwoom on the 1st, which was the season opener, and went down the mound by himself after 60 pitches in 2⅔innings. 

The next day, Smith, who was excluded from the first team entry, will not accompany the Daegu expedition this week and will remain in Daejeon and take a break. Planning to play catch this weekend or early next week. Here, he returns immediately if there is nothing wrong. 

When it comes back to normal, it’s not a big gap at the level of skipping rotation once or twice. The problem is if there is even a slight problem in the preparation process and the return is delayed. Last year, foreign pitchers Nick Kingham (brachial muscle) and Ryan Carpenter (elbow) both left after three games due to injuries, and their return was delayed for various reasons. 

Kingham never returned, and Carpenter left the team with a recurrence of injuries during his return. Substitute foreign pitchers Jefri Ramirez and Felix Pena joined in mid-June and early July, respectively. In the meantime, Hanwha, which rotated with domestic pitchers, overloaded the bullpen and completely collapsed the mound. 

But this year, the atmosphere will not repeat the same mistakes. An official from Hanwha said, “If there is any problem in the process of returning, we will use a replacement card immediately. Substitute players were also specifically determined. We have prepared everything for the replacement,” he said. It is the club’s policy not to wait twice. 

Since the season has just started in the U.S., it is not easy to find replacement players due to timing. However, Smith, who was injured during his time in the United States and Japan, made a list of substitute players early on in case of an unexpected situation. Although it is embarrassing that the time of injury was earlier than expected, there is no major difficulty in operating Plan B. 

An official from Hanwha said,메이저사이트 “If it is replaced, it will not take as long as last year. Considering that administrative procedures take two weeks, we can prepare for entry right away in early May,” he explained. The priority is for Smith to come back healthy, but he cannot continue to carry the risk of injury throughout the season. With a lot left in the season, Hanwha is also responding quickly.

Smith, who debuted in the major leagues in 2013, is an ‘injury pron’ who has injured various parts such as elbow, forearm, groin, side, and fingers throughout his career. Since 2020, he has been unable to play a full season due to consecutive injuries to his forearm, groin, side and fingers for the last three years. The pitch was so good that Hanwha invested the maximum amount of 1 million dollars for new foreigners and recruited him as the first starter, and he underwent a double-triple medical check and was found to be fine. Risks arose even before the opening, but we are trying to minimize the gap with the prepared replacement foreign recruiting manual. 

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