Sanchez injury butterfly effect, ‘Rookie of the Year candidate’ Baby Tiger management also a variable…KIA’s clear message: “Manage the innings”

Variables in the air as we head into the final stretch of the season. The stakes are high.

The Kia Tigers’ starting rotation is in the spotlight. With foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez, 29, on a three-week rehab assignment due to injury, the mound math for the remaining 40 games is complicated.

On the surface, there is plenty of room. Yang Hyun-jong (35), Lee Yi-ri (21), Yoon Young-chul (19) and Thomas Pannoni (29) are the four available starters, with Kim Gun-guk (35), Kim Jae-yeol (27) and Hwang Dong-ha (21) categorized as backup options. Lee, however, is expected to join the national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games, which is scheduled to convene on June 22. Even after Sanchez’s three-week rehabilitation, he will still be out for about a month, which is virtually inevitable given the buildup. “The best thing would be for Sanchez to return around the time Lee Lee-ri joins the team for the Asian Games,” said KIA coach Kim Jong-guk, but whether that will happen is anyone’s guess.

There are other concerns. How to manage rookie pitcher Yoon Young-chul, who made his debut this year.

Through Sept. 29, Yoon had pitched 93 innings in 19 games (7-5, 4.06 ERA). KIA has been careful to control Yoon’s innings so far. As a rookie pitcher who had just made his professional debut, the team agreed that management was essential for his gradual growth. Except for the June 6 game against SSG (7 innings, 2 runs), Yoon has pitched the maximum number of innings in 18 games.

Even if he fills the starting hole left by Sanchez’s departure, don’t expect long innings. As the bullpen becomes more taxed, it becomes more important for the starting pitchers to digest innings. Naturally, Yoon Young-chul is bound to be affected.

With 40 games left in the regular season, Yoon is expected to make seven or eight starts. Assuming KIA continues its current trend of giving Yoon five to six innings of work, the simple math suggests that it will add another 40 to 48 innings. This would bring his total innings pitched this season to between 130 and 140 innings. That’s more than Lee Yi-ri (100 innings in 21 games), who won the Rookie of the Year award in 2021.

“I’m trying to control the number of innings,” Kim said of Yoon’s season and management. “You have to give him some, but not too much,” he said, “I’m going to give him about five or six innings.”메이저놀이터

Yoon returned to the first team on June 18 after a 10-day break following his first first-team obliteration and finished the first half of the season. After the start of the second half, he stayed with the Futures (second team) for another week to recalibrate and rest before joining the team. Even in the midst of a fierce five-team race, KIA seems to be clearly following Yoon’s schedule-inning management plan.

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