1 starter for the LG Twins. Casey Kelly (34), who was much loved as a long-lived foreigner. His sluggishness this season is not serious. Will there come a situation where LG, which is aiming for the championship this year, will have to make a bold decision?메이저놀이터
Kelly started against Hanwha in Daejeon on the 11th, and was greatly shaken with 1⅔ innings, 4 hits, 3 walks, 2 balls that fit the body, 1 strikeout and 6 runs (6 earned). The total number of pitches was 54.
In the end, Kelly passed his mound to Yoo Young-chan without even completing the second inning. It was the first time in 127 games that Kelly came off the mound without completing two innings.
Kelly took the KBO League stage in 2019. He has been with the LG Twins for 5 years in a row this year. Before this season, Kelly pitched in 114 games over four seasons, recording a 58-31 record with a 2.89 ERA and 555 strikeouts.
As LG’s No. 1 starter, he instilled trust in his teammates. He went 14-12 with an ERA of 2.55 in 2019, 15-7 with an ERA of 3.32 in 2020, and 13-8 with an ERA of 3.15 in 2021, respectively.
His last season, he went 16-4 with a 2.54 earned run average in 166⅓ innings in 27 games. He won the KBO league title for most wins with 153 strikeouts. He played an active role as a so-called ‘pitcher in the account’ and established himself as the club’s longest-serving foreign pitcher. In the end, LG signed a new contract with Kelly after the end of last season for a total of $1.8 million (a contract fee of $450,000, an annual salary of $1.05 million, and an incentive of $300,000).
However, Kelly’s condition this season has been unusual. He is 6-3 with a 4.70 earned run average in 13 starts. In 74⅔ total innings pitched, he allowed 81 hits (5 home runs), 23 walks, 48 strikeouts, 46 runs (39 earned runs), a WHIP (on-base percentage) of 1.39, and a batting average of 0.275.
In April, he was sluggish with an ERA of 5.66 with 1 win and 2 losses in 6 games. In May, he seemed to rebound with an average ERA of 2.73 with 4 wins and 1 loss in 5 games, but fell into a swamp of sluggishness again with an ERA of 9.45 with 1 win and 1 loss in 2 games in June.
LG Casey Kelly (left).
While Kelly is sluggish, another foreign pitcher, Adam Plutko, is showing an overwhelming record of 8 wins, undefeated ERA of 1.97 in 12 starts. In effect, Kelly gave Plutko the first starting spot.
LG has no choice but to keep a close eye on Kelly’s condition. This is because the importance of a foreign pitcher for LG, which is aiming for the premiership this season, is quite significant. In the Korean Series, which is a best-of-seven series, teams with strong 1st, 2nd, and 3rd starters often win. With Lim Chan-kyu raging with his third starter this season, if a foreign one-two punch does his part, he can get one step closer to winning. Plutco is doing well, but the current situation in which Kelly is shaking. It must be an unpleasant scenario for LG.
LG hopes that Kelly’s sluggishness will be a temporary phenomenon. But, obviously, you have to be prepared for just in case. This is because if an individual’s sluggishness continues, he may make a bold decision for the team. An official from Team A’s power analysis team analyzed, “It can be seen that Kelly has thrown a lot of balls in the last 4 years. He can’t help but have an aftermath.” In fact, Kelly digested 180⅓ innings (2019 season) – 173⅓ innings (2020 season) – 177 innings (2021 season) – 166⅓ innings (2022 season).
LG broke up after the end of the 2020 season with Tyler Wilson, who was active for three seasons from the 2018 season. At the time, Wilson also had good results for two years after entering the KBO league, but was shaken in the 2020 season. And Andrew Suarez, who was recruited to replace him, achieved good results with an average ERA of 2.18 in the 2021 season of 10 wins and 2 losses. Will Kelly be able to successfully rebound in the remaining games this season? Kelly’s next start is expected to be one of three weekend games against Doosan.