Park Chan-ho, the first South Korean in U.S. major league history, has been taken off the top-tier lineup of the Hanwha Eagles.
He was delisted from the first division for the first time since his debut in Korea this season after playing in the U.S. and Japan. So far this year, the 39-year-old veteran pitcher had sat out two games due to fatigue and back pain but stayed on the list.
“I removed Park from the entry list due to his continued elbow pain,” acting manager Han Yong-duk told reporters on Monday night.
Park Chan-ho (Yonhap News)
“Park has pitched for 18 years with elbow pain. His symptoms seem to get more serious late in the season as he threw more cut fastballs this year.
“The club is clearly out of contention for the championship title this season, so I changed up the list to give more chances to the young pitchers.”
Though Park was sidelined, Han will not demote him to the second division but allow him to accompany the first-tier squad while getting treatment.
“Chan-ho has a huge effect on his junior teammates,” Han said, “I will start the young pitchers for the time being.”
In the first half, Park pitched well. He went 4-5 with a 3.77 ERA, but so far in the second half, he slumped to 1-4 with a 8.90 ERA.
In his last five games, he allowed seven home runs.
For the season, he is 5-9 with a 5.07 ERA.
Still, he has a chance of joining the team this season.
“Park seems to have many thoughts. He may finish this season as it is or return to the mound if he recovers from the injury,” Han said. “I will give him a chance to play, considering his elbow condition, and if he wants to wrap up this year with a better performance.”
By Chun Sung-woo (email@example.com