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Reigning KBO MVP Ariel Miranda likely out for 1st week of season with shoulder issues

All News 11:12 March 24, 2022

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- The reigning South Korean baseball MVP Ariel Miranda is expected to miss the early part of the regular season with some shoulder discomfort, his manager said Thursday.

Doosan Bears' skipper Kim Tae-hyoung said Miranda, the team's left-handed ace from Cuba, will play catch sometime next week and the team will see how he feels afterward before setting the timetable for his return.

"It doesn't look as if he will be ready for the opening weekend because of his shoulder discomfort," Kim said before a Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) preseason game against the LG Twins at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. The regular season begins April 2. "We think we may have him back after the first turn through the starting rotation. But we will have a clearer answer after he plays catch next week."

In this file photo from Nov. 17, 2021, Ariel Miranda of the Doosan Bears pitches against the KT Wiz in the top of the first inning during Game 3 of the Korean Series at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Miranda was voted the regular season MVP last year after leading the league with a 2.33 ERA and 225 strikeouts, a new league record. Miranda also finished tied for fourth with 14 wins and sixth with 173 2/3 innings.

Miranda also missed the final days of the regular season and the early part of the postseason last year due to shoulder fatigue.

Miranda only reported to spring training on Feb. 25, about three weeks after the start of camp, due to a bout with COVID-19. Then there were some warning signs in his first pregame start Sunday, when he allowed three runs on three hits and four walks in two innings against the Samsung Lions, while only touching 142 kilometers per hour (kph) with his four-seam fastball. Miranda averaged 146.4 kph with the pitch last season to rank fifth among all qualified starters.

With Miranda out of the mix early, Robert Stock, a flamethrowing right-hander who newly joined the Bears in January, is expected to get the Opening Day nod.

In this file photo from Nov. 17, 2021, Ariel Miranda of the Doosan Bears pitches against the KT Wiz in the top of the first inning during Game 3 of the Korean Series at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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