There are many resources to fill the rotation. But the order matters.
KIA Tigers ahead of the opening of the안전놀이터 2023 KBO League. Among the 10 clubs, the starting team is considered the most solid. Local one-two punch Yang Hyeon-jong (35) and Lee Eui-ri (21) are supported by Sean Anderson (29) and Adonis Medina (27). Ki-Hoon Kim (23) and Young-Cheol Yoon (19) are challenging the existing 5th starter Lim Ki-Young (30). Depth that can perfectly lead to the establishment of a 5-selection system as well as alternative selections.
The problem is their order. Until last season, Yang Hyeon-jong was the starter for the opening game. Not only did he have the symbolism of a native ace, but he had the skills to do so, so there was no big concern. However, with Yang Hyeon-jong participating in the 2023 WBC (World Baseball Classic) and failing to fill the number of pitches that matched the opening series, change became inevitable. Excluding Eui-ri Lee, who was in the same boat with Hyeon-jong Yang, Anderson, Medina, and other native pitchers have to take on the heavy responsibility of starting the opening game.
In terms of composition, a picture with foreign one-two punchers Anderson and Medina standing at the forefront and domestic pitchers supporting them seems likely. However, considering that both players are debuting in the KBO League, the starting position for the opening game inevitably adds to the burden. In order to promote other native pitchers, it is inevitable to consider the issues of pitch and experience.
For this reason, the KIA appears to be closely watching the pitching of the selected resources in this demonstration game. The focus is on accumulating data through as many battles as possible and finding the best card. Since it is a different approach from previous years when the starting rotation was set early, attention is focused on the choice.
KIA coach Kim Jong-guk said, “It seems difficult for Yang Hyeon-jong and Lee Eui-ri to pitch around 100 pitches until the opening series. We plan to prepare for the regular season by gradually improving our pitches.” Regarding the foreign pitchers, he explained, “Anderson plans to pitch in one more exhibition game. Medina’s pitch should also be constantly checked.” Regarding the 5th starting position, he said, “The pitcher who shows the best condition in line with the opening will take the position. Even if he does not start in the opening series, there are various ways to use it, such as long relief and future replacement selection,” focusing on a long pennant race. matched At the same time, he said, “I think the starting rotation order will probably come out only after the final match of the exhibition game (against Busan Lotte on the 28th).”