Midway through the season, Kirk McCarty, 28, was one of the most powerful lefties in the KBO. Despite his small frame, he throws a fastball that can reach up to 150 kilometers per hour. He mixed it up with a cutter and a curveball that had a slight velocity differential that made hitters swing and miss.
He had a good attitude and adapted well to the team. He was happy with his life in Korea. So were their families. He wasn’t a dominant pitcher, but he could still pitch six innings every game. At least until June, he seemed to be a lock to be re-signed. At the end of June, he had a 2.52 ERA, which is pretty good. He was still in his late 20s, so there was still room for improvement.
But then the unexpected happened. Injuries. Blisters can happen to any pitcher. It wasn’t a big deal, but in late June, I felt a pain in my left forearm. An examination revealed nothing too alarming, but the pain was new to him and he panicked. Even with the All-Star break in between, it would have been a long absence. The loss of a foreign ace at a time when SSG should be hitting their stride was pretty painful.굿모닝토토 주소
Upon his return, he seemed to reassure everyone by throwing the ball normally, but in September, the power of the ball seemed to drop. The September slump was pretty serious. As if he was aware of this, on September 23 against the Incheon Lotte, he started throwing as hard as he could early in the game, but felt pain in his side and was pulled after two innings. It’s a good thing the team ended the season in third place, or they would have been in even worse shape.
It was an embarrassing outcome for both McCarty and SSG. SSG confidently chose McCarty over Shawn Morimando for a number of reasons. He’s undersized but has a good delivery, he can run a game, he’s willing to learn and, crucially, he hasn’t had too many injuries in his career. The expectation was that he’d have a mid-season strain on his body, but he’d still be able to pitch well over 150 innings, and the calculation was that he’d be even better in 2024 with one full season under his belt.
But after proving everything, McCarty fell apart because he couldn’t prove he was healthy. He did return for the postseason, but his contributions weren’t as strong as they could have been. This is why SSG was in trouble after the season. He’s not a weak pitcher, and he’s good enough to be a second starter if he’s used well, but injuries have taken their toll, and SSG has removed McCarty from the roster. The team then signed right-hander Robert Duggar, whose career has been characterized by ‘health’, and said goodbye to him.
If there were no injury concerns, Martin could have been kept for another year. Some clubs in need of new foreign pitchers reportedly have similar thoughts. It’s a tough market to find a good foreign pitcher. However, both the forearm and the side are sensitive areas. For this reason, none of the teams are reportedly looking at McCarty as a top priority. There could be changes in the future, such as the contract situation of each club, but for now, it’s looking more and more likely that this will be the end of McCarty’s time in Korea. It’s a disappointing ending for everyone.
Looking at the list of players removed from the suspended list announced by the KBO on Nov. 30, there are a few foreign players who are ambiguous. In addition to McCarty, Anthony Alford, who spent two years with KT, and Jason Martin, who batted first in the NC this year. They’ve had mixed results, but they’ve shown their strengths. In the current market for foreign hitters, it may be difficult for them to get rehired right away, but it could leave room for them in the future.