June ERA 5.14.
KIA Rising Star Choi Ji-min (20) has been on a roll in June. On June 20, Choi took the mound with runners on first and second in the ninth inning of a 6-2 win over Daejeon Hanwha. However, he was unable to save the game and gave the mound to Lim Ki-young. He threw ⅓ inning with three strikeouts and no runs.
After Lim closed out the game, Choi Ji-min was given a hold. However, it was a game that clearly showed that Choi Ji-min’s form has dropped a bit recently. From April 20 against Lotte to May 27 against LG Electronics, he went 17 consecutive games without allowing a goal. During this time, he was praised by SPOTV commentator Oh Jae-won as a “big pitcher without glasses” and emerged as a key part of the KIA bullpen. He was also selected to the final roster for the Hangzhou Asian Games.토토사이트
Beyond being the main setup man, he even shared the double-stopper duties with Lim Ki-young after Jung Hae-young was sent down to the second team for reconditioning. It’s a natural change of pace for a pitcher who has transformed from a fastball in the low 140s in his first year to a fastball in the high 140s. He also throws his signature slider to right-handed batters, which is a bold move.
In June, however, he faltered. In eight games against Hanwha on June 20, he was 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA. He hasn’t given up a lot of runs, but he’s given up one in four games. He has eight walks, one per game. His batting average jumped from .146 in May to .233 in June.
In just 20 games, there was a huge difference between strikes and balls. This was evident in his three walks. This is the result of an inconsistent release point. In general, when my stamina drops a little, my release point is often shaky.
MBC Sports Plus commentator Park Jae-hong, who broadcast the game on the 20th, said, “The slider kept slipping out of his hand. There is a chance that it will be caught on the batter’s radar (meaning a hit aimed at the fastball).” Commentator Jung Min-cheol said, “His changeup doesn’t hit zero, and he doesn’t seem to be confident in his fastball.”
Choi Ji-min is in her second year. It’s her first time playing full-time. Rather than showing off his game management skills, Choi is an aggressive pitcher with a fastball and a main weapon. It’s not a style of pitching that requires physical strength. His ability to induce bunts and control his strength and weakness makes him relatively easy to manage. The experience of the starting pitcher cannot be ignored.
That doesn’t mean KIA can afford to rest Choi Ji-min. Despite the recent return of Jeon Sang-hyun and Kim Ki-hoon, coach Kim Jong-guk doesn’t think they’re ready to be used in a close game just yet. Finally, Jung Hae-young is still with the second team. He struggled against Hampyeong Lotte in the Futures League on April 20, giving up two runs on three hits in one inning. It doesn’t look like his pitches are back to normal.
Im Ki-young naturally took on a bigger role in the late innings when it mattered most. If he falls off the pace, the likes of Jang Hyun-sik, Jeon Sang-hyun, and Kim Ki-hoon will have to step up to the plate. In the long run, it would be ideal to see their pace increase. However, it’s also important for KIA to get Choi Ji-min back on track. He’s a pitcher who could play a more important role on the mound for KIA in the long run.