The KIA Tigers have a thicker bullpen depth. Pil Seung-jo ‘J Trio’ still performs the core mission.
This year, the KIA mound has risen. Looking at the starting rotation, Yang Hyeon-jong, the ‘national left-handed duo’, and Lee Eui-ri, ‘right-handed fireballer’ Sean Anderson and Adonis Medina joined.
The competition for the 5th selection is also expected to be fierce. Ki-Young Lim, who has been in charge of the rotation for three consecutive years, Ki-Hoon Kim, a promising left-handed fastball, and Young-Cheol Yoon, a ‘special rookie’, will compete in good faith.
Compared to last season, the bullpen also has a variety of resources available. The Pil Seung-joo consisting of Jung Hae-young, Jang Hyeon-sik, and Jeon Sang-hyeon is still alive, and the two pitchers who were pushed out of the starting competition are expected to add strength from the bullpen.
Here, left-handed specialist Kim Dae-yu, who was nominated as a transfer compensation player for Park Dong-won, who signed a FA contract with the LG Twins, joined. On the 11th, they strengthened their depth by recruiting veteran right-handers Kim Kon-guk and Kim Seung-hyun, who were invincible.
In addition, left-handers Lee Jun-young, Choi Ji-min, Kim Sa-yoon, Kim Yu-shin and right-handers Yoon Joong-hyun and Park Jun-pyo are on standby. The bullpen has noticeably improved.
The core responsible for the back of the mound and the back gate remains unchanged. It is the Pilseungjo Trio. Last season, Jung Hae-young played 56 innings in 55 games, Jang Hyun-shik played 52 innings in 54 games, and Jeon Sang-hyun played 46⅓ innings in 50 games.
All three players showed a fighting spirit on the mound despite suffering from injuries, and combined 35 saves and 35 holds, leading the team to the postseason in three years. 안전놀이터 Jung Hae-young recorded more than 30 saves (34 → 32 saves) for two consecutive years, and Jeon Sang-hyun set a career high hold record (16 holds).
Of course, 2022 was not a perfect season. Jung Hae-young repeatedly conceded points in the middle of the season, exposing his anxiety, and Jang Hyun-sik, who suffered from injuries, was less powerful than when he was the hold king. But his trust is strong. Along with Jeon Sang-hyun, Jeong Hae-young and Jang Hyun-sik are the strongest bullpen cards that KIA can use in the 2023 season.
We are preparing for the operation of ‘J Trio’ this year as well. Jung Hae-young and Jeon Sang-hyun will participate in the spring camp held in Arizona, USA from February 1st. Jang Hyeon-sik, who underwent an elbow fracture surgery last October, is undergoing rehabilitation in Korea. In the case of Jang Hyun-sik, we have to watch the recovery process, but there is a possibility that he will return in time for the opening.