KIA, which rose to 3rd place at the beginning of the 2022 season and raised great expectations, fell to 5th place on July 3rd and kept that position until the end of the season. They returned to the postseason by defeating all the challenges of the ‘5th place competitors’ who appeared alternately, but there was no momentum to rise to 4th place.
The blow had its own power. Last year, the KIA batting line led the league in both team batting average (.272) and team OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage, 0.747). He hit 113 homers, the fourth most in the league, and escaped the stigma of being a ‘tick hitter’ to some extent. However, there were many ups and downs on the mound. Foreign pitchers were a problem throughout the first half, and the bullpen failed to support the team at the most important point.
Pil Seung-jo, led by Jeon Sang-hyun, Jang Hyeon-shik, and Jung Hae-young, did their part, but left a regret that the team collapsed once in a while when they had to ride the flow and rise. The rest of the bullpen pitchers were also jagged. A total of 23 bullpen pitchers stood on the mound and stood on the test table, excluding the starting pitcher who had a ‘bullpen part-time job’ for a while, but the feeling was strong that only fragments were scattered around. As a result, the KIA bullpen performed below the league average.
Ahead of this season, there is theoretically a leak in the batting line. This is because catcher Park Dong-won, who contributed to the long hit, left the team after obtaining a free agent (FA) qualification. On the other hand, it is worth expecting from the selection side. Two experienced foreign pitchers (Anderson and Medina) who can throw fastballs at 150 km per hour, not technicalists, joined the team. All that remains is the bullpen and defense. It can be a point to gauge whether KIA can rise further than 5th place.
Fortunately, I gathered the bullpen resources one by one. Jang Hyun-sik’s surgery to remove bone fragments from his elbow is a variable, but Jung Hae-young and Jeon Sang-hyun keep their place. If Jang Hyeon-shik endures until he returns to normal, he can start gaining weight again from the middle of the season.
The most notable thing is that there are not a few elements of hope in the left-handed bullpen, which suffered greatly last year. Last year, left-handers seemed to be lacking, but this year, right-handers seem even more lacking. It can be read that they are struggling for something to change.
On the left-hander side, Lee Jun-young, who recorded an ERA of 2.91 in 75 games last year, is likely to get priority, and Kim Dae-yu, whom Park Dong-won nominated as a reward player, is also a proven resource. Kim Dae-yu recorded an average ERA of 2.04 in 59 games last year. He has high expectations from the team. Even if only two players are strong, there can be considerable room for left-handed input in the middle of the game.
Here, young players are also gathering expectations. Kim Ki-hoon, who is expected to compete for the 5 starter, is a useful resource to pressure opponents with a fast ball if he comes down to the bullpen. After being discharged from the 바카라사이트 Armed Forces Sports Corps (Sangmu) last year, he showed impressive pitches and raised expectations for this year. If you start in the bullpen, it is expected to be a key puzzle. Choi Ji-min, the nominee for the 2nd round (5th overall) in 2022, also sweated in Geelong Korea, Australia during the off-season, accumulating experience and senses. Expectations are also raised as the restraint gradually rises.
Left-hander Yoon Young-cheol, the only rookie to be named in the Arizona camp, is also expected. As he is being evaluated as a pitcher for the game while being mentioned as a candidate for the 5th selection, he can add considerable strength to the KIA mound anywhere as long as he has a little more speed. Kim Sa-yoon, who joined last year through a trade, is also eager to survive the competition.
In order for the bullpen to be strong, it is not only necessary to have a winning team, but also a strong chasing team that can catch opponents when they are falling behind in the game. On the right-hander side, new faces such as Hoo-seop Song, Tae-gyu Lee, and Seung-hyeon Kim are worth looking forward to. If he can threaten existing right-handers such as Kim Jae-yeol and Yoo Seung-chul, the icing on the cake. On the under side, Yoon Joong-hyun and Park Jun-pyo, who showed their abilities, set out to match the assortment. The puzzle pieces in the hands of coach Kim Jong-guk, who chose to run the bullpen last year, have definitely increased. I’m interested in how to fit it effectively.