Will Jung Haeyoung be nervous?
Ahead of spring camp, professional baseball coaches said, “There is no starting point. Everyone has to compete,” he threatens. It is to induce tension and awakening of the existing main players who are trying to settle down, and to encourage players who are new to the main game. KIA Tigers coach Kim Jong-guk also said, “There is no set starter. Everyone has to compete,” he said.
KIA has numerous competitors. There is fierce competition for positions at catcher, first base, third base, and outfield. On the mound, the 5th starting pitcher has not been decided, and competition is poised to take place even for the position of Pilseungjo. It is difficult for Jang Hyun-shik, who served as the king of holds, to join the opening match due to surgery to remove a bone fragment from his elbow. Ki-young Lim, Ki-hoon Kim, and newcomer Young-cheol Yoon will compete as candidates for the 5th selection.
However, the immovable finish guarded by Jung Hae-young also has a cloud of war. It is because of left-hander Kim Ki-hoon, who returned after being discharged from Sangmu last year. Before returning last year, he climbed the mound in a dizzying crisis with one company loaded and struck out all three batters, leaving his teammates open their mouths. It was a big help to win the 5th round fight. 스포츠토토
He had a 1.04 earned run average, though he only pitched in five games. He even pitched three scoreless innings. He joined as a promising player in the match, but was caught in the pitch. He even reduced his speed to the early 140km range to catch the ball. During his two years as a manager, his control improved and his speed regained 150 km. The club raised his annual salary by 10 million won considering the Futures League ERA title.
Coach Kim Jong-guk selected him as a starting and bullpen candidate in spring camp. At the same time, coach Kim said, “If you throw like last year, you can be a closer. It’s a personal opinion, but if Ki-hoon is in the bullpen, he can operate more stably.” He wasn’t said to be a sure-fire closer, but he was asked to be a pillar at the back door.
It was something that Jung Hae-young could have been concerned about. Jung Hae-young expressed his will to “challenge for 35 saves by developing strength and command of the breaking ball” as he set off for the camp. He started in the pursuit group in 2020 and was promoted to the winning group, and from the 2021 season he turned into a finishing pitcher and won 34 saves, and in the 22nd season he harvested 32 saves. He is challenging his personal career 100 saves this year. Now, with the return of Kim Ki-hoon, we can compete in good faith.
Kim Ki-hoon is expected to play an active role in Pil Seung-jo while competing for selection. Lee Joon-young, Kim Dae-yu, Jeon Sang-hyeon, and Jang Hyeon-sik (rehabilitating), etc. Furthermore, if he is competitive as a finishing pitcher, the KIA mound can become much thicker. Attention is focusing on whether Kim Ki-hoon will become the eye of the typhoon on the KIA mound.