The KIA Tigers have completed a team reorganization through last-minute trades and foreign player replacements in the first half. With the reinforcement of power to continue the fight for the 5th round, the command tower emphasized responsibility and winning games.
KIA won 7-6 in the 10th game of the season against SSG Landers in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 6th. Driven by the momentum of the 17-3 victory the previous day, it ran on a winning streak and jumped from 9th to 8th place.
On this day, KIA’s new master Kim Tae-gun swung a hard hit with 2 hits, 2 RBIs and 1 point in 4 at-bats, including the final hit. On the 5th, while accepting the blood loss of sending infielder Ryu Ji-hyeok to the Samsung Lions and signing Kim Tae-gun through a trade, he immediately confirmed the possibility of resolving the catcher shortage.
KIA had a regular league batting average of only 0.159 for the starting catcher before this game. It showed a difference of close to 10% from the league average of 0.244. Before Kim Tae-gun’s trade, Han Seung-taek, Joo Hyo-sang, and Shin Beom-soo took turns wearing masks, but it didn’t help at all in terms of attack power.
Among them, the recruitment of Kim Tae-gun, who has a stable defense as well as decent offense and abundant experience, was a card that could make up for KIA’s weaknesses at once. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk also sent strong trust, saying, “Kim Tae-gun is not worried about the ball mix and defensive ability. He is a hitter with stable contact and batting ability, so I think he is a player who can do his part.”
There is another change. On the afternoon of the 6th, foreign pitcher Anderson, who started this season together, was also confirmed to part ways. KIA announced a waiver for Anderson and re-recruited Panoni, who played an active role as an ace in the second half of last year.
Anderson’s performance on the surface was not too bad with an average ERA of 3.76 this season with 4 wins and 7 losses in 14 games. He also recorded eight quality starts, showing the appearance of a starting pitcher with some calculations.
However, what KIA wanted from Anderson was the aspect of a first starter, not a compliant starting pitcher. In this area, Anderson failed to meet KIA’s expectations. He was good at work and had a good relationship with his teammates, but his company with KIA came to an end.
Medina, who was ejected first on the 4th, was more disappointing. He was 2-6 in 12 games with an ERA of 6.05, and he did not contribute to the team’s strength at all. The sluggishness of the two foreign pitchers had a significant impact on KIA’s bottom-line in the first half.
In the case of Panoni, who returned to the KIA, he did his part with an average ERA of 2.72 with 3 wins and 4 losses in 14 games last year. KIA’s contribution to advancing to the postseason in 5th place in the 2022 season was high.
Sanchez, who is challenging the KBO league for the first time, recorded a special record of 8-1 with an average ERA of 1.44 in 10 games (9 starts) for the Taiwan Professional Baseball Tungyi Lions this season. As long as he has been steadily digesting the starting rotation until recently, it is expected that he will immediately take on the second starting role at KIA.메이저놀이터
Coach Kim Jong-guk is in the position that the team should improve the rankings through more victories in the second half as the team’s shortfalls are almost made up. If outfielder Na Seong-beom, infielder Kim Do-yeong return from injuries, and second baseman Kim Sun-bin return, the KIA will be fully equipped.
KIA is only 3.5 games behind NC Dinos and Lotte Giants, who are tied for 4th, and are in a situation where they can continue competing in fall baseball. Excluding LG Twins in first place and SSG Landers in second place, it is also a good thing that the leaderboards are in chaos from Doosan Bears in third place to Hanwha Eagles in ninth place.
First of all, coach Kim Jong-guk raised his voice, saying, “Not only me and the coaching staff, but also the players must play with more responsibility. Since we have full power, we have to play more games that can win.”
He also delivered a strong message to the entire team, saying, “We were sluggish in the first half, but in the second half, everyone must make up their minds to repay the fans with a good appearance.”
KIA ace Yang Hyeon-jong also said, “Three new players have arrived, including Kim Tae-gun. I will do my best to win one game at a time.” And I want to place an order (to my juniors),” he said, revealing his aspirations.