NC fell helplessly to KT Wiz in Changwon on the second day. Now, the playoffs are down to the final five games on the 5th. Ace Eric Peddie, who was responsible for the first game on the 30th of last month, is set to play. However, unexpectedly, manager Kang Myung-hyun commented that Peddie’s condition is not 100%.굿모닝토토
NC has only used one ace in nine games this postseason. Of course, a lot of rain is expected tomorrow in Suwon, where Game 5 will be held. If Game 5 is postponed to Game 6, it’s possible that Pedi could make a dramatic appearance. But even if that happens, there’s a chance he won’t be available.
NC has relied heavily on Peddie throughout the season. Aside from Peddie, the team hasn’t had a reliable starter. Taylor Widener was unreliable with severe ups and downs. Tanner Tully, a late-season acquisition, struggled with his velocity and was unable to deliver overwhelming pitches.
As for the domestic starters, Koo Chang-mo actually lasted only two months after opening day. Lee Jae-hak and Choi Sung-young had to take time off due to batting injuries. Song Myung-ki and Lee Yong-jun were unable to keep their jobs due to severe ups and downs. Shin Min-hyuk, a surprise postseason performer, was fine in the regular season.
In an ideal world, Koo Chang-mo would be a solid third starter and the homegrown pitchers listed above would hold down the middle. However, they had to bounce back and forth between starting and middling, and even their ace, Pedi, was not utilized in the postseason after suffering a season-ending forearm bruise, and we can’t help but think of Koo Chang-mo, who re-injured his entire forearm while trying to make a comeback in the second half.
With a healthy Koo Chang-mo, the starting lineup would have been much different. It’s a far-fetched assumption, but the team would have finished higher in the regular season. With the “one day, one peddie” situation, we won’t have the one-two punch of Peddie-Goo Chang-mo in the postseason.
There’s been talk of Pedi returning to the major leagues. MLB.com ranked him as the KBO star to come to the majors alongside Lee Jung-hoo. It’s hard to predict the composition of next year’s foreign pitching staff at this point. What we do know is that teams with domestic starters at the level of foreign pitchers have had an advantage in the postseason. They had the benefit of having an extra foreign pitcher. If NC wants to do that next year, they’ll need to get their foreign pitchers right and get Koo Chang-mo back healthy.
And we need to stabilize the four or five starters. I’m glad to see Shin Min-hyuk’s growth. And the long-term investment in Song Myung-gi, Lee Jae-hak, Choi Sung-young, and Lee Yong-joon, as well as the development of prospects like Lee Jun-ho, Jung Goo-beom, and 2024 rookie Kim Hwi-gun. The task for the NC mound in 2024 is already clear. It is to upgrade the starting lineup. It’s a season of possibilities and limitations.