Ryu Ji-hyeok, Kim Tae-jin, rookie nomination right, 1 billion won… What it took to get the starting catcher

Although they did not use expressions such as ‘all-out war’ or ‘all in’, they have a strong will to advance to the top 5. kt coach Lee Kang-cheol hinted at the possibility of adjusting the starting rotation to increase as many wins as possible in the remaining 7 games in the first half.

Recently, kt rotated the starting rotation in the order of Wes Benjamin, William Cuevas, Eom Sang-baek, Bae Jae-seong, and Ko Young-pyo. There was some adjustment as the match against Hanwha in Daejeon on June 29 and LG match in Jamsil on June 4 were canceled due to rain. Still, the basic framework of putting Cuevas behind Benjamin remains the same. The part that director Lee Kang-cheol is struggling with is Ko Young-pyo’s rest day.스포츠토토

Koh Young-pyo is scheduled to pitch against the KIA on the 8th. It is not yet known when the next appearance will be. Director Lee Kang-cheol said, “Ko Young-pyo is going to the KIA game on the 8th, but I’m worried about sending him out once more in the first half.” It is a plan with a 4-day break in mind. Instead, he set a policy to give Ko Yeong-pyo a rest of at least 10 days if he let go before KIA on the 8th and before Kiwoom on the 13th, the final match of the first half.

Cuevas finishes the first half with a mound against Kiwoom on the 12th following LG on the 6th. And he is scheduled to play his first game of the second half on the 21st. Director Lee Kang-cheol said, “If possible, I want to start the second half with Cuevas. It’s Daegu. There’s also something about feeling the emotions during the tiebreaker.”

KT starts the second half with an away game against Samsung in Daegu. Daegu is a meaningful place for Cuevas. On October 31, 2021, in the tiebreaker held at Samsung Lions Park, he pitched 7 scoreless innings and helped the team win 1-0. kt was able to win the Korean Series by grabbing this game and securing first place in the regular season.

From the remainder of the first half to the first series of the second half, coach Lee Kang-chul is looking forward to gaining as many multipliers as possible before and after the All-Star break to gain even a slight advantage in the ranking fight. He said with a big smile, “I look at the leaderboard every day, but I don’t do calculations.”

kt is on a four-game winning streak with an 8-4 victory over LG in Jamsil on the 5th. Since June, the record has been 18 wins and 8 losses, with a win rate of 0.693, which is higher than league leader LG (16 wins, 1 draw, 11 losses, 0.593). The seat is 7th, but the top ranks are in sight. It is only 2.0 games away from Doosan in 3rd place, and it is looking at the right to advance to the postseason at once with the strength of the starting team. I am hoping to get stronger momentum with the rotation adjustment.
Same situation again after 1 year and 3 months. How will the KIA Tigers deal end this time?

On the 5th, KIA conducted a one-on-one trade with the Samsung Lions. Infielder Ryu Ji-hyeok was given away and catcher Kim Tae-gun was acquired. Rumors of a ‘catcher trade’ between the two teams have been flowing steadily for several months. However, in the meantime, it was not concluded because the cards did not match, and while I wanted to be dismissed as it was, a recent conversation between KIA manager Kim Jong-guk and Samsung manager Park Jin-man led to a rapid flow.

There is only one reason why KIA brought Kim Tae-gun to the point of giving away Ryu Ji-hyeok, the main hitter and ‘all-around multi-man’. I want to make the main catcher. KIA also has good catchers. Han Seung-taek, Joo Hyo-sang, Shin Beom-soo, Han Jun-su, etc. are currently moving up and down the 1st and 2nd division entries.

However, the need to reinforce the catcher was constantly mentioned, and a trade was eventually made. It is a trade that greatly motivates Kim Tae-gun. Kim Tae-goon was the second catcher after Kang Min-ho in Samsung. Then, a golden opportunity came for him to play many games as the main catcher.

It’s like ‘deja vu’. Kia had a similar situation last year. It was the Park Dong-won trade. In April of last year, through a trade with Kiwoom Heroes, Park Dong-won was recruited, and infielder Kim Tae-jin, a rookie 2nd round nomination right, and up to 1 billion won in cash were added.

And Park Dong-won played a good role at KIA until the end of the season. Breathing with catchers and even punchy attacks. There was talk of signing a multi-year contract during the season, but Park Dong-won declared free agency and moved to the LG Twins. KIA put Park Dong-won’s retention as a top priority, but failed to catch it. In the process, a shocking story related to the former leader came out, and the damage was greater than expected.

That’s how it eventually became a dodol-Ipyo. Even after giving up the main infielder, the top rookie number nomination right, and 1 billion won, there was no starting catcher again in 7 months, and a situation unfolded. KIA said, “I will raise them as our players” because it was not easy to trade. There was no reason to hesitate any longer as the team’s performance fell to the bottom.

Coincidentally, Kim Tae-gun is also a free agent after this season. After the end of the 2019 season, Kim Tae-gun, who signed a contract with the original team NC Dinos for a total of 1.3 billion won for 4 years in his first free agency, will get his second free agent qualification this year as the 4th season passes. Of course, the KIA club also knew this and traded.

Director Kim Jong-guk said carefully, saying, “Of course I knew about the FA-related part. But that’s something the club needs to approach.” Since the FA plan is entirely the role of the front desk, it is also an expression that it is still too early to talk about specifics in the field.

KIA took a lot of blood loss and started looking for the main catcher. It’s a huge decision. Now there should be tangible results. It is not that we have to catch Kim Tae-gun unconditionally, but we need to build a main catcher system with a long-term plan including all those issues.


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