Being pushed by a rookie pitcher is a phone call… Proof of all-weather ability → Increased value of Im Ki-young

The pitcher with the most innings pitched in relief without a start in the first half is Im Ki-young of the KIA Tigers (30). He totaled 51 innings, six and two-thirds more than the second-place finisher, Park Young-hyun (KT Wiz).

Lim has been an all-around pitcher. He started as a long reliever in his first start of the season on April 8 against the Doosan Bears. He took the mound after starter Lee Yi-ri was pulled after three innings and threw 47 pitches. In the first 10 games of the season, he had five games of one inning or more.

From mid-May onward, he was a full-fledged member of the bullpen. He was the lone steady hand in the midst of ups and downs in the form of Jeon Sang-hyun, Jang Hyun-sik, and other right-handed orthodox set-up men.

He also took over the duties of closer Jung Hae-young in June when he was removed from the first-team roster due to poor pitching. Against the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon on June 20, Choi Ji-min took the mound with three outs and struck out Kim In-hwan to preserve the team’s win (6-4).

Ki-young Lim was a jack-of-all-trades in the KIA bullpen, serving as a long reliever, set-up man, and closer. He was able to fulfill these duties because he was originally a starting pitcher. He started 122 of the 176 games he pitched in a KIA uniform. In 2017, he made his presence felt with an 8-6 record and 3.65 ERA, and in 2021, when ace Yang Hyun-jong left for the United States, he was the team’s only regulars. He had the most losses in the league last season (13), but kept his ERA (4.24) in check.

Lim was that kind of pitcher. This season, however, he fell out of contention for the fifth spot. KIA gave rookie left-hander Yoon Young-cheol a chance first, and he showed stability and kept the job.

For Lim, it could have been a bruised ego. However, he went above and beyond the call of duty and showed his professionalism. His record this season is 33 games, 1 win, 1 loss, 7 holds, and 2 saves. His ERA is 2.65.

Kia head coach Kim Jong-kook recognized Lim as the pitcher of the first half of the season for his dedication and outstanding pitching. Lim is also very competitive as a starting pitcher. He’s done well in a backup role (bullpen pitcher), where he has to be ready to pitch every game. He has proven that he can recover, pitch well, and be mentally tough.메이저놀이터

He may have lost his starting job, but he’s shown that he can do more, and that makes him more valuable. He’s getting closer and closer to free agency. For Lim, the first half of the 2023 season could be considered a call-up.

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