“I’m going to throw a lot of strikes”
KIA Tigers Mario Sanchez said in an interview before the game against KT Wiz in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on August 8, “My arm feels good, my body feels good. I’m ready to throw tomorrow,” he said, expressing confidence.
Sanchez, who came to KIA as a replacement foreign pitcher for Adonis Medina, is a right-hander who went 8-1 with a 1.44 ERA in 10 games (62⅔ innings) in the Taiwanese Professional Baseball League this season. Sanchez arrived in South Korea on May 5 and is scheduled to pitch against KT on May 9.
“The first time I went to Taiwan, it took me about two weeks to adjust to the time difference,” Sanchez said, “but there’s only an hour time difference between Taiwan and Korea. It’s not that hard. “I always try to pay attention to my pitches,” said Sanchez, who cites command as one of his strengths. I’ve analyzed the data and there are some pitches that I think will work well in Korea. But I can’t say that right now. All I can say is that I’m going to throw strikes. I’m going to throw a lot of strikes,” he said of his pitching style.
Sanchez, who played with Eric Peddy (NC) in the minor leagues, said, “I know most of the Venezuelan players. I know Albert Suarez, Jose Pirela (Samsung), William Cuevas (KT), etc. The player I’m closest to is Pedida,” he said. “When I decided to come to Korea, I wasn’t in a position to ask for advice from other players, so I didn’t hear about the KBO at all. I feel like I’m starting in a completely new environment,” he added.
“My first impression when I came to Korea is that Korean hitters look like they have power and strength,” Sanchez said, “but baseball is all the same. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a game where the pitcher has to throw and the batter has to hit. The team has been very welcoming and I’m adjusting quickly. I feel like we’ve been playing together for a season already. I will do my best to win the championship.”