The KIA Tigers have completed a team overhaul with last-minute trades and foreign players. Manager emphasizes responsibility and winning games as team bolsters to continue top-five contention.
KIA won the 10th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against SSG Landers 7-6 at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on June 6. The team rode the momentum of a 17-3 victory the previous day to extend its winning streak and jump from ninth to eighth place.
KIA was led by new center fielder Kim Tae-gun, who went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and one run scored. The team acquired Kim in a trade that sent infielder Ryu Ji-hyeok to the Samsung Lions on May 5, and immediately saw the potential to solve its catching woes.
Prior to this game, KIA had a regular-season batting average of just .159 for its starting catchers. That’s nearly a full run off the league average of .244. Han Seung-taek, Joo Hyo-sang, and Shin Bum-soo took turns wearing the mask before Kim Tae-gun was traded, but none of them provided any offense.
The signing of Kim Tae-gun, who has a stable defense as well as a decent offense and a wealth of experience, was a card that could fill KIA’s weaknesses once and for all. Kia head coach Kim Jong-guk said, “I’m not worried about Kim Tae-gun’s pitching and defense. He is a hitter with a stable contact ability, so I think he can definitely do his part,” he said.토토사이트
There are other changes. Anderson, a foreign pitcher who started the season with the team, was also parted ways on Saturday afternoon. KIA claimed Anderson off waivers and reacquired Panoni, who served as an ace in the second half of last year.
On the surface, Anderson didn’t perform too badly this season, going 4-7 with a 3.76 ERA in 14 games. He also had eight quality starts, making him a somewhat calculated starter.
However, what KIA was looking for from Anderson was more than just a solid starter, but a number one starter. In this regard, Anderson did not fulfill KIA’s expectations. Despite his walks and good relationship with his teammates, his time with the organization came to an end.
Medina, who was sent home on April 4, was even more disappointing, going 2-6 with a 6.05 ERA in 12 games and not contributing to the team at all. The struggles of the two foreign pitchers had a lot to do with KIA’s first half finish.
Panoni, who returned to KIA, did his part last year, going 3-4 with a 2.72 ERA in 14 games. He helped Kia reach the postseason with a fifth-place finish in the 2022 season.
Sanchez, who is new to the KBO, was a standout this season for the Tung Yi Lions of the Taiwanese Professional Baseball League, going 8-1 with a 1.44 ERA in 10 games (nine starts). He’s been a consistent part of the starting rotation as of late, so he should be able to step right into the No. 2 role for KIA.
Manager Kim Jong-kook believes that the team’s deficiencies have been largely filled, so they will need to win more games in the second half to move up the standings. KIA has outfielder Na Sung-bum and infielder Kim Do-young back from injury, as well as starting second baseman Kim Sun-bin.