The time for decision has come.
The KIA Tigers 5 selection competition, which has been going on for about two months, has entered the final stage. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk plans to pick up the 5th starting spot through the final two series of demonstration games against the Lotte Giants at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 27th and 28th. With Yang Hyeon-jong, Lee Eui-ri, Anderson and Medina, the 1st to 4th selections are firm, and when the 5th selection is confirmed, the outline of KIA’s mound operation this season, called the ‘pitching kingdom’, will also be outlined.
The candidates are compressed into Lim Ki-young (30) and Yoon Young-cheol (19).먹튀검증
Before the camp, his gaze slanted toward Lim Ki-young. Last season, in the aftermath of a side injury, he had only 4 wins (13 losses) and an average ERA of 4.24 in 26 games, but he was still considered a pitcher who could lead stable innings. However, Lim Ki-young drew attention by showing off his guts in the demonstration game following the spring camp practice game.
Lim Ki-young appeared in two exhibition games until the 26th, recording 2 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts, no runs, and 0 ERA against 20 batters in 5 innings. On the 13th, his first game against Hanwha in Daejeon, he showed anxiety with 2 hits and 3 walks (no runs) in 2 innings, but on the 24th, against SSG in Gwangju, he showed excellent pitching with no hits, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts (no runs) in 3 innings. Yoon Young-cheol recorded 2 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts and no runs in 4⅔ innings against LG in Gwangju on the 21st, following a good pitch against Gocheok Kiwoom on the 16th. Both pitches and pitches are good enough to record no runs and zero ERA in two appearances by both pitchers. For the KIA bench, the choice is bound to be difficult.
Lim Ki-young is still ahead in terms of stability. As a starting pitcher, he pitched 120 innings for three consecutive years. He has not only the experience to endure a long season, but also efficient pitching, so he is not lacking in the starting job. Yoon Young-cheol lags behind Lim Ki-young in terms of his experience, but he has good deception to keep the ball hidden until the end, and his control and pitch are not bad. It cannot be overlooked that, like Eui-ri Lee’s success story in the 2021 season, having him gain early success experience in the first team when he is showing good pitches can be helpful from a long-term growth perspective.
Choosing one of the two pitchers in good condition may look like a ‘happy worry’. However, considering the fact that it is a decision that will determine the success or failure of the early race, which accounts for a large part in the ranking fight, and the uncertainty of whether a pitcher who has not secured the 5th starting position will be able to show a similar condition at the time when it is really needed, a great burden follows. It is also a decision.
He sweated all winter and proved himself. Now, only the choice of bench remains. Indeed, attention is focused on who will go to the KIA 5 starting position.