Right-handed pitcher Warwick Saupold (33, Perth Heat) has emerged as the number one target to be wary of for the Korean national baseball team participating in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). However, there is also an evaluation that “it is not at the level of concern”.
Head coach Lee Kang-cheol, who returned after analyzing Australian baseball on the 9th, said, “I heard that Saupold has a high possibility of starting (Korean War).” Coach Lee, who had left Korea to personally check out the Australian Professional Baseball League (ABL), watched Saupold’s pitching through a relay broadcast.
The reason why Saupold is getting attention is because of his playing history. Saupold played for the Hanwha Eagles for two seasons from 2019. His career record was 22-24 with a 4.16 earned run average. He achieved double-digit wins (12 wins → 10 wins) for two consecutive seasons and was responsible for an annual average of close to 180 innings.
Of the Australian players he expects to include in the final WBC roster, Saupold knows the KBO league best. Choi Jeong (SSG Landers), Oh Ji-hwan (LG Twins), Yang Eui-ji 토토사이트, and many other Korean players have experience in facing the competition, so the possibility of strategically ‘targeting’ in the Korean game is being discussed. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), which has a life and death stake against Australia, considers all possible numbers.
On the other hand, it is said that Saupold’s skills are not as good as before. Song Jae-woo, an MLB commentator who is broadcasting the Australian Professional Baseball League (ABL), said, “I once relayed a seupold mound game, but compared to when I played in Korea, the ball looked bad. My pitch has definitely dropped, but I feel like I’ve gained weight because of my age.”
Saupold played in the ABL immediately after the renewal of the contract with Hanwha failed. His ABL record this season is 7 starts, 3 wins and 2 losses with a 4.85 earned run average. He allowed 49 hits in 39 innings, making his batting average (0.308) pretty high.
He also had a chance to get a glimpse of his power. On November 9 last year, in a friendly match against the Japanese baseball team held at the Sapporo Dome in Japan, Saupold started and was knocked out early with 4 hits and 2 runs in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out two, but made the game difficult with two walks and one wild throw. At that time, Australia was thrashed 1-8.
The Australian national team has had bad news lately. On the 9th, news of Liam Hendricks’ struggle with the disease, who was an active big leaguer and a strong finishing pitcher, was transmitted. Hendricks is out for a while to receive treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a tumor resulting from the malignant transformation of lymphoid tissue cells.
With Hendrix’s departure, Australia’s mound power is expected to greatly weaken. Commissioner Song Jae-woo said, “Considering his pitch, Hendricks is a pitcher that is difficult for us batters to attack easily. The angle of the slider is so good that it can be burdensome.” It’s a pity that he doesn’t come out, but it’s not bad (for the Korean national team).” With Hendricks out, Australia is more likely to make the final roster with players from the ABL.
Korea and Australia will meet in the first match of the first round of WBC Group B. The game against Australia is a watershed for Korea to win a ticket to the quarterfinals, which is given to second place in the group, as Japan’s power is so strong. Manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “Australia is highly likely to use all of its key pitchers in the game against Korea to finish second. We will keep checking.”