73SV Closer to 2nd team…150km ERA 1.07 19-year-old lefty promoted to closer.

May 30, 2023 0 Comments

Choi Ji-min? Group closers?

On the 29th, KIA Tigers manager Kim Jong-kook demoted five players from the first team to the second team. Pitchers Sean Anderson, Jung Hae-young, Kim Dae-yu, and infielders Hwang Dae-in and Yoon Do-hyun were designated for assignment. The implications are significant. The team had already released pitchers Jeon Sang-hyun and Kim Ki-hoon midweek. The team’s intention is to shake things up.

In particular, the move of goalkeeper Jung Hae-young, who has made 73 saves in three years, to the second team is a sign of the team’s intention to use a new goalkeeper. It was the first time Jung had been promoted to the second team since joining the first team at the end of June 2020 as a rookie. He was promoted from the chase group to the must-win group and in the 2021 season, he recorded more than 30 saves for the second consecutive year as the closer.토토사이트

This year, he struggled with his fastball and velocity from spring training. He hasn’t pitched a clean inning since opening day. He finished with a 3-1 record, six saves, a 3.46 ERA, a 1.58 WHIP, and a 2.09 K/9 ratio. It seems that Kim decided it was better to give him time to readjust his mechanics with the second team.

It will also be interesting to see who replaces Jung as the closer. For now, second-year left-hander Choi Ji-min (19) is the favourite. In 21 appearances this year, he has a 2-1 record with three saves and a 1.07 ERA. He has a fastball that reaches up to 150km/h and a slider and changeup that have improved. He has a 1.9 K/9 ratio against lefties and righties alike.

His velocity, which was only 140km last year, has increased dramatically and his delivery has become impregnable. He has one of the strongest pitches in the KIA bullpen. He was originally assigned to the chase group but was promoted to the must-win group. He is poised for another promotion, this time as a closer.

However, he will have to overcome the psychological pressure of being the ninth inning closer. He has experience with saves. On 17 May, Jung Hae-young, who was the ninth inning closer for Samsung Electronics in Daegu, came in to save the day. If Choi Ji-min can overcome the pressure of the ninth inning, it could be a big hope for KIA.

The team could use a group closer system rather than just Choi Ji-min. Left-hander Lee Jun-young is also showing off his excellent stuff. In 19 appearances, he has four holds and a 1.50 ERA. However, he has a higher batting average against right-handers (.375) than left-handers (.135). Right-hander Jang Hyun-sik is still not 100% with his pitches and delivery. It will be interesting to see if Choi Ji-min can step in as a backup.

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