KIA Tigers ahead of the forced march, the key is the starting team.
The KIA starting lineup has been punctured by the injury of Mario Sanchez (29). A gap is inevitable. Kim Kon-guk (35), Kim Jae-yeol (27), and Hwang Dong-ha (21) are mentioned as alternative starting resources, but it is true that it is difficult to expect all of them to pitch 5 innings. KIA is envisioning a 1+1 strategy in which alternative starters throw in the remaining 5 starters while maintaining the 4 starters by adding Yang Hyeon-jong (35) Lee Eui-ri (21) Yoon Young-cheol and Thomas Panoni (29) 안전놀이터.
The problem is that this blank is not the end. If Lee Eui-ri, who will be selected for the Hangzhou Asian Games team scheduled to be convened on September 22nd, is missing, the available selection resources will be further reduced. It is the best scenario for Sanchez to return at this time, but it is true that it will not be easy to return within September if he goes through the pitching build-up period while it is expected to take three weeks for rehabilitation.
Assuming the worst case scenario, KIA could end up having to fight with only three starting pitchers from the end of September. It is a fatal part in terms of the KIA’s conditions, where the remaining game schedule remains the most and must digest the remaining schedule without a break period. It is also possible to take the 4th or 5th starting pitcher for the substitute starting pitcher used in 1+1. However, if they fail to pitch five innings, the burden will inevitably be passed on to the bullpen, and the mound operation will become more complicated. In KIA, not only Lee Eui-ri, but also bullpen Pilseungjo Choi Ji-min will be selected for the Asian Games national team.
For this reason, Lim Ki-young (30) is frequently mentioned as a card that will fill this selection gap. Lim Ki-young, who was in the starting position until last year, is playing in the bullpen this year regardless of long relief, pilseung, and pursuit. He is able to play multiple innings as well as powerful pitches, making him an all-around key for KIA’s bullpen. However, he has a lot of cumulative innings. He played 66⅔ innings by the 30th, ranking first among relievers in the KBO League.
Regarding the possibility of Lim Ki-young’s starting transition, KIA manager Kim Jong-guk said, “There are so many games and innings. (When switching starts) it can be overloaded and there is a risk of injury. I don’t think that’s the case.” He added, “Players who have accumulated experience in starting from the Futures (2nd team) team will come up and digest 2-3 innings. When the expansion entry is activated, the range of use of the bullpen will also expand.”
KIA is unlikely to convert Lim Ki-young to the starter right away. In the end, the best picture is for substitute starting agents who received selection classes from the Future Team to do their part, and for the rest of the existing starting pitchers to show their ability to digest innings while minimizing the burden on the bullpen.