The list of 30 members of the Korean national team to participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) was announced on the 4th. Cho Beom-hyeon, chairman of the technical committee, said, “Now, you can look at 30 people as the final (list).”
Looking at the face of the national team, there are only two catchers (Yang Eui-ji and Lee Ji-young). Even at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, there were two catchers (Yang Eui-ji and Kang Min-ho), but at that time, the final entry was only 24 people, so the options were narrow. Considering that the World Baseball Classic will be held in March, the two catchers are somewhat risky. It’s not the time to improve my condition, but I can be exposed to injuries. In addition, at this tournament, the number of entries was expanded from 28 to 30, so it was relatively comfortable.
The catcher was also the position that national team coach Lee Kang-cheol, Technical Committee Chairman Cho Beom-hyun, and the national team coaching staff pondered until the end. We discussed for about an hour whether to have two or three catchers. An official who attended the meeting said, “After discussion, the consensus was to give up one catcher and strengthen the offense. As this tournament introduced a match-up 메이저놀이터 (starting the inning with second baseman safely) from the 10th inning, more runners were needed, and the rules of the tournament were also considered.”
In the World Baseball Classic tournament rules, there is an exception rule that allows replacement of the final entry during the tournament. If there are fewer than two catchers due to injury during the tournament, it is stated that the entry can be replaced with another catcher after receiving a medical examination from a doctor under the organizing committee. Because Tokyo, Japan, where the first round and quarterfinals are held, is close to Korea, it is possible to cross over to the competition venue in Korea whenever there is an issue with an injury to the catcher. There is no time or distance burden at all since all domestic clubs returned home for demonstration games.
The rules of the tournament say that the final entry must also include at least 14 pitchers. Because of the pitch limit (up to 65 per round), as many pitchers as possible are needed. Pitchers can also be replaced with another pitcher when the number of entries is less than 14 due to injury. Since the tournament is held prior to the opening of each league, the final entry is relatively open.
Meanwhile, the World Baseball Classic, which will be held for the first time in six years since 2017 due to Corona 19, will open on March 8 with a total of 20 countries participating. Korea belongs to Group B with Japan, Australia, China and the Czech Republic, and will play the first match of the first round (March 9) against Australia.