Will 8 left-handed pitchers make it to the opening entry?
Eight left-handed pitchers are sweating in the KIA Tigers’ Arizona spring camp. It was included in the spring camp list as it was seen as a force to be used in the first team this year. The possibility of being included in the first team entry for the opening game is also attracting attention. It’s not a 100% probability, but coach Kim Jong-guk said, “I think the left-hander will be the center of both the starting and bullpen.”
First of all, five people, including Yang Hyeon-jong, Lee Eui-ri, Kim Ki-hoon, Lee Jun-young, and Kim Dae-yu, are definite. Yang Hyeon-jong and Lee Eui-ri are a national left-handed duo. Unsurprisingly, he occupied two spots among the five starting pitchers. Yang Hyeon-jong challenges 170 innings for 9 consecutive years. Lee Eui-ri, the next-generation ace, stepped on the first 10 wins last year, and this year, not only double-digit wins, but also 15 wins are in sight.
Kim Ki-hoon, who returned from military service at the end of last season, is likely to join the winning group with a strong 150km pitch as a left-handed pitcher. He is expected to be responsible for the 7th or 8th inning as a member of the Pil-Seung Group along with right-hander Pil-Seung Jeon Sang-Hyun and right-hander Jeong Hae-Young. The pitch he showed in five games last year is enough. 슬롯사이트
Lee Jun-yeong, who recorded a career high last year by posting 17 holds, is also on standby as a reliable bullpen with a sharp slider. Kim Dae-yu, who won 37 holds in the 2021 and 2022 seasons at LG, is also expected to take a spot as a powerful left-handed killer. Not only specialists, but also 1 inning digestion is possible. They are strong first-team forces with track record and experience.
In fact, Choi Ji-min, Kim Yu-shin and newcomer Yoon Young-cheol are the key. In the 2022 season, when he was a rookie, Choi Ji-min suddenly fell into a difficult situation, but he even caught speed-up and control. He gained a lot of confidence while playing in the Australian league as a member of Geelong Korea. He sprays the ball at a distance of up to 148km and is making a strong dash to the first team entry.
Kim Yoo-shin, who was dropped in the 2nd round in 2018, was not able to play his part after being discharged. His speed did not rise, so his performance in the first team was not high. He only appeared in 10 games in the 2022 season. With the return of Kim Ki-hoon, the joining of Yoon Young-chul, and the leap of Choi Ji-min, it is inevitable to have a sense of crisis. Opportunities can return only when they show competitiveness in camps and demonstration games.
Yoon Young-cheol is immediately evaluated as a sense of power with his extraordinary control, command of the breaking ball, and ability to operate the mound. As a rookie, he is in the starting pitcher competition. He can be used as a starting pitcher and even a long man. If you enter the starting lineup like rookie Eui-ri Lee in the 2021 season, you will have an advantage in the mound composition, such as putting Lim Ki-young and Kim Ki-hoon into the bullpen.
If all 8 left-handed pitchers enter the roster, there are about 5 right-handed pitchers including 2 foreigners, Lim Ki-young, Jeon Sang-hyun, and Jung Hae-young. Other right-handed pitchers, Yoon Joong-hyeon and Yoo Seung-cheol, are also aiming for a place in the first team. Right-handed prospects such as Lee Tae-gyu and Song Hoo-seop, who raised their speed to the 150km range last year, are also looking for opportunities. I am curious about the opening entry of KIA, which has transformed into a left-handed kingdom.