A light rain fell on the KIA Tigers mound. Jeong Hae-young (21) came back when it was needed. 

KIA has put forward a substitute starting pitcher twice in the past two weeks. This is because rookie pitcher Yoon Young-cheol was given a break, and foreign pitcher Adonis Medina, who had been sluggish with an average ERA of 6 (6.05), was excluded from the first team entry on the 21st of last month. Instead, Hwang Dong-ha and Kim Kon-guk, who started as starting pitchers, failed to fill 3 innings. It was actually an ‘opener’. 

In the future, one starting position will be vacant. KIA released Medina on the 4th. It is unlikely that a new foreign pitcher will join the team before the end of the first half and make his first appearance. 

Jung Hae-young joined in this situation. He is the team’s closer with more than 30 saves in the last two seasons (2020-2021) in a row. Due to his poor speed and pitch, he was excluded from the first team entry after appearing against the LG Twins on May 28. For the next two weeks, I tried to balance the pitching, which was a problem, and after recovering my sense of practice through the Futures (2nd team) league game, I joined the 1st team on the 2nd. 

Coach Kim Jong-guk said in the middle of last month, when Jeong Hae-young did not play, “Jeong Hae-young is a pitcher who has good strength at the end of the ball compared to his original speed. He will call up (to the first team) if his vertical movement as well as his four-seam fastball (fastball) velocity improves.” It meant that he would wait until Jung Hae-young could throw his own pitch without impatiently. 

Jung Hae-young showed a recovery in his position in the return match against LG on the 2nd. At the end of the 7th inning, when KIA was losing 1-3, Shin Min-jae, Hong Chang-ki and Moon Seong-ju were all hit. The highest speed of his fastball was taken up to 147 km / h. The average speed of a total of 10 balls (based on fastball) was 145.3 km/h. On May 27, right before he was excluded from the first team entry, Jung Hae-young recorded an average fastball speed of 138.8 km/h in the game against LG.

It wasn’t just the ball that got faster. definitely gained strength. Hong Chang-ki and Moon Seong-joo, who are recording a batting average of more than 30% this season, repeatedly missed swings and fouls on Jeong Hae-young’s outside (based on left-handed batters) fastballs. Thanks to his fastball, his forkball, which he uses as his main weapon, worked effectively. 

With Jung Hae-young rejoining the bullpen, KIA’s mound operation was also breathless. In the absence of a starting pitcher, Eui-ri Lee and Young-cheol Yoon were sluggish, so the bullpen pitchers, especially Jeon Sang-hyun, Choi Ji-min, and Lim Ki-young, who were in good condition, were under heavy pressure. They also filled the gap where Jung Hae-young had been missing. 메이저놀이터

KIA must put forward a replacement starting pitcher at least two more times until a new foreign pitcher arrives. If Jung Hae-young shows a sense of stability as before, KIA coach Kim Jong-guk can also expand the range of pitcher utilization. For example, Lim Ki-young, who served as starting pitcher until last season, is assigned as an alternative starter. Previously, it was impossible to give another mission to Lim Ki-young, who performed the set-up man and closer duties, but with Jung Hae-young returning, it became possible. 

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