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S. Korea finalizes 28-man roster for World Baseball Classic

All Headlines 16:47 February 06, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea finalized its 28-man team for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on Monday.

Manager Kim In-sik submitted the roster to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Monday. The KBO will then hand in the list to the WBC organizers Tuesday morning. The deadline is Monday in Eastern Standard Time.

Kim has had to make several changes since putting together the 28-man squad in November. The team is carrying just one major league player, St. Louis Cardinals' closer Oh Seung-hwan. The Texas Rangers balked at releasing outfielder Choo Shin-soo for the tournament because of his recent injury history. Kim Hyun-soo, second-year outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles, pulled himself out of consideration, citing the need to focus on the club's spring training.

Kang Jung-ho of the Pittsburgh Pirates was cut from the team following his DUI arrest in December.

Among other major leaguers, Ryu Hyun-jin, left-hander for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Park Byung-ho, designated hitter recently designated for assignment by the Minnesota Twins, were never considered because of their offseason surgeries.

From the KBO, two All-Star pitchers, Kim Kwang-hyun of the SK Wyverns and Lee Yong-chan of the Bears, both underwent elbow surgery and were dropped from the provisional roster. Second baseman Jeong Keun-woo withdrew last week after a knee surgery.

South Korea will have to rely on former Seattle Mariners first baseman Lee Dae-ho and veteran KBO slugger Choi Hyoung-woo for offensive production. The team is stacked with seven right-handed relief pitchers, led by Oh, who recorded 19 saves in his rookie major league season in 2016.

South Korea will host first round action at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, starting on March 6. It will face Israel, the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei in Pool A.

The team will set up a training camp in Okinawa, Japan, on Sunday.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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