“Ah, I could go halfway… ”
KIA sidearm Lim Ki-young (30) has also entered the 12th year of his debut. As he prepares and plays for the season, he feels it. He competed for the 5th starting position with Yoon Young-cheol, a distant junior at Tucson Spring Camp in Arizona, USA, but said to himself as above. And it became a reality.메이저놀이터
He has always been a starting pitcher. He did that even after transferring to KIA in 2017. He added a two-seam and slider to his fastball and changeup to make a living as a starter. However, he needed a change to transform into a midfielder. Of course, at the end of the 2022 season, he played as a bullpen for a short time due to issues such as pitch interval and turn, but he needed preparation to play as a professional bullpen throughout the season.
Lim Ki-young said, ahead of the match against Hanwha in Gwangju on the 6th, “I set a goal alone, saying,” I want to throw 100 innings in the middle. I wonder if I can help the team if I throw a lot. I went out as a starter in the demonstration game, but I thought I could go in the middle. I thought that my value would increase if Yeong-cheol started and I played long relief, so I tried to show a better image. It is right that he throws well from my position. It is not possible to do it just because I want to be selected, and my value goes up only when the team performs well.”
So, in order to increase the value of the midfielder, I put my hand on the main weapon changeup. “Since last year, I thought I didn’t eat it, so I played catch in my own way and found a grip that fits my hand. The more I threw this season, the better I got. It fit my hand well from camp. The results are good, so I have no intention of changing.”
I changed it from camp, and after the position change was confirmed as a midfielder, I decided to actively utilize it. This season, Lim Ki-young’s changeup has a significantly greater drop compared to the existing changeup. KBS N Sports commentator Park Yong-taek said of Lim Ki-young’s changeup while relaying the Pohang Samsung match last week, “From the batter’s point of view, it looks similar to a fastball. It flies in the same way and then falls.”
According to Stats, a baseball statistics site, Lim Ki-young’s changeup hit rate dropped from 0.234 last year to 0.173 this year. His use rate is similar to last year, but his pitch value is much higher this year. In the end, he went from long relief to victory pitching and even the main setup man. In 41 games this season, 1 win, 1 loss, 2 saves, 11 holds, an average ERA of 2.44. With 59 innings in the season, he is the most innings among pure relievers this year.
Lim Ki-young said, “I only look at the center and throw it. He gets a long hit if it doesn’t work well, but he only looks at the middle and throws because he thinks he should catch the first pitch first. Even when he’s decisive after 2 strikes, he throws. He throws with confidence, so it seems that his long hits have also decreased.”
His changeup is extremely strong, and the rate of use of each pitch is similar to last year. Usually, a bullpen pitcher doesn’t use as many pitches as a starting pitcher, but Lim Ki-young uses the same slider and two-seam. He still often multi-innings. His ball speed itself is not fast, so he does not miss the effect of diversity.
Lim Ki-young said, “When it comes to selection, if you can’t throw a game, it becomes a burden for 4-5 days. But the bullpen might throw well the next day. I like that. The routine has also completely changed. He didn’t even eat on the day he threw the starter, but now he tries to eat because managing his stamina is important. There were times when I got tired of unfastening his arms several times, but now I’m moving according to the timing to go out. He tries to manage his stamina well.”
The KIA bullpen is strong. Lim Ki-young is firm in his faith. He said, “Everyone is struggling. trust each other I have faith that even if I come down on a runner, he will block me. As a result, the results seem to be good. If the starting pitcher blocks longer than 6 innings, the game can be easily solved because there are many good pitchers in the middle.”