Whatever the situation, the choice for the KIA Tigers was ‘he’.
The 2023 season has been a particularly busy year for right-handed sidearm Lim Ki-young. Sitting in the bullpen, Lim has performed not only the chasing group and the winning team but also as an alternative starter. He has recorded 42 innings in 64 games with four wins, four losses, three saves and 16 holds, and an ERA of 2.96. Last year was the first time that Lim played in more than 30 games in a season. Among bullpen pitchers last year, Noh Kyung-eun (SSG Landers, 83 innings) was the only pitcher who played more innings than Lim.
Only one season ago, Lim was appointed as a starting pitcher. Since joining the Kia Tigers’ first division in 2017, he has served as a starting pitcher. In the 2021 season, when Kia fell to ninth place, Lim had eight wins, the most in his team, serving as an ace. In the 2022 season, he had four wins and 13 losses as his team failed to catch up with Seung-woon, but he played a key role in advancing to the quarterfinals by playing 129 ⅓s.
After this, he moved to the bullpen. Rookie pitcher Yoon Young-cheol (20) joined the team. Kia’s starting lineup included two foreign pitchers Yang Hyun-jong (36) and Lee Eui-ri (22), and only five starters were left. Kia wanted to secure the position through a competition between Lim and Yoon. Yoon showed better-than-expected control and secured the fifth starting position. Of course, this decision did not imply Lim’s defeat. The team focused not only on outstanding pitching in innings, but also on unique characteristics such as “submarine,” and versatility to enable the team to play as a substitute starter in addition to the bullpen. It effectively turned out that he was the winner of the 2023 KIA mound.
The relocation of pitchers to different positions, especially starting pitchers’ conversion to bullpen, is not easy to accept. Unlike starting pitchers, who take breaks depending on routines and play games with long breaths, bullpen pitchers are often tense days when phone calls will come in. In most cases, a team has to devote everything to one batter every inning, and team wins or losses can be determined. It was all the more difficult for Lim as he had been starting pitcher since joining Kia.
However, Lim did his part without any hesitation. Whenever his team was in crisis, he stood on the mound regardless of circumstances. He pitched as a relief pitcher in all 64 games, but he played multiple innings as many as 26 times. He pitched in five games more than three innings.
Lim Ki-young’s start is likely to be a bullpen this season as well 라바카지노주소.
Kia has solidified its five starting lineup. Like last year, Yang Hyun-jong, Lee Ui-ri, and Yoon Young-chul are the troika pitchers in Korea. When Will Crow, who joined the team, and a new foreign pitcher to be announced soon are added, all five seats will be filled. However, the bullpen needs to be subdivided into the must-win group and the catch-up group, except for the closing pitcher Jung Hae-young (23). Securing alternative starters to back up starters during pennant races is another challenge. Considering Lim Ki-young’s strategy, which was focused on managerial control last year, he is highly likely to play multiple roles in the bullpen this season as well.
Whenever there were concerns over Lim’s accumulation of fatigue last year, he said, “My team is taking good care of me. This is my role. I just do my best.” Kia is confidently looking at Lim’s shoulder, which proved itself to be a “team first.”