A question mark before the season, LG Twins pitcher Im Chan-kyu has clearly earned his manager’s trust. Manager Yoon Kyung-yup has decided to keep giving him chances.
Im started the fourth game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the SSG Landers at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on April 23, allowing one run on three hits (one home run) in six innings, striking out three and walking one. After giving up an early lead, he never wavered, leading his team to a 9-1 victory. With his fourth win of the season, Lim lowered his season ERA from 2.48 to 2.33.
After giving up a leadoff single to Choi Joo-hwan in the second inning, Lim settled down in the third and remained on the mound until the sixth inning, when he struck out Guillermo Heredia with runners on second and third to end SSG’s hopes of a comeback.
“We decided to use Im Chan-kyu as the third starter until the end of the season,” LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said ahead of the SSG game on the 24th.스포츠토토 “As I said yesterday, I think he’s almost in a stable zone, and he’s settled in as a pitcher who mixes his pitches and makes adjustments. My thinking has changed, my game plan has changed, my pitching design has changed. I think he will continue to go steadily unless he thinks otherwise.”
“The first thing I always tell him is that he’s broken because of his restraints, and he needs to get them out of his head. I convinced him to think about his strengths and to be a pitcher with a wide variety of pitches to be successful. As the game went well for both Im and Chan-gyu, their communication worked well, and as the season progressed, they gained trust in each other. Above all, it’s great that it worked out for him.”
For Yeom, the driving force behind Im’s success was his curveball.
“What made him better is that he uses a lot of curveballs and changeups. It’s hard when he doesn’t use a lot of curveballs. There was a game where he struggled in the first inning when he tried to do it with just his fastball and changeup. When the curve is in, all the pitches work, and in the 23rd game, he increased the percentage of curveballs from the third inning. You have to mix in a lot of curveballs from the first inning,” he said.
“On days when my curveball is working, it’s going to be a lot easier, and on days when it’s not, it’s going to be tough because the count is going to be against me,” he said. “It’s a very positive thing that I’m not throwing hard, that my velocity is coming up and I have good balance. I think there is a high probability that the average velocity will go up by about two kilometers because the velocity that has risen will not easily fall, and there is a high probability that the balance will come out steadily. I think it will be much more effective if I increase the percentage of body pitches.”
On a lighter note, Yeom hopes to see Lim reach double-digit wins.
“I think he’ll get more than 10 wins. I’m confident in his pace, so if he continues to rotate, I think he can get around 13 wins.”