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KIA Tigers failed to recruit foreign pitchers for two consecutive years. The performance of the 2024 season also depends on the newly joined pitchers.

KIA decided early on to continue working with foreign hitter Socrates Brito, and recruited two new foreign pitchers this winter. First, a contract was signed with Will Crow (30),

who has outstanding major league experience, for a total of $1 million, including a signing bonus of $200,000, an annual salary of $600,000, and incentives of $200,000. The limit on the amount of new foreign players has been reached. 

Although he has a history of shoulder injuries, expectations were high for Crow. 카지노사이트

Crow has a physique of 185cm and 108kg in weight. His fastball’s highest velocity is 153km, and he uses a variety of breaking balls, including sliders and changeups. He also has extensive major league experience. 

He appeared in 94 career games, recording 10 wins, 21 losses, 16 holds, 5 saves, and an ERA of 5.30. Even in the minor league, he recorded 21 wins, 16 losses, 1 hold, and an ERA of 4.01 in 75 games.

He also played as a full-time starter in the big leagues. He played 116⅔ innings in 25 games in the 2021 season while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates and recorded 4 wins, 8 losses, and an ERA of 5.48. In the 2023 season,

he had 5 games, 1 loss, 1 save, and an ERA of 4.66, and in the minor leagues, he had 17 games, 3 wins, 1 loss, and 1 hold with an ERA of 3.86.

KIA filled the last position with James Nail (31). Recruitment was completed for a total of $950,000 ($200,000 contract deposit, $350,000 annual salary, $150,000 option, $250,000 transfer fee). 

Nail, who mainly played in the minor league last year, had a fastball speed of 153km and an average speed of 149km. 

He received favorable reviews for having a good curveball and excellent sinker movement, leading to a high frequency of ground balls. 

KIA evaluated, “Neil’s strength is his control, and he has allowed few walks throughout his career.”

Nail was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 20th round, 608th overall, in the 2015 draft. 

After making his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2022, Nail recorded a total ERA of 7.40 in 17 big league games, 24⅓ innings, and 1 hold. 

In the minor leagues, he had 49 wins, 37 losses, 21 holds, 10 saves, and a 4.01 earned run average in 245 career games.

General manager Shim Jae-hak said, “Neil is currently a player included in the Major League’s 40-man roster. 

He appeared in many games as a starting pitcher in college and in the minor leagues. He has a variety of pitches. 

He decided on this recruitment because he believed he would show sufficient competitiveness in the KBO league. “I hope he will adapt well to Korean baseball and play a part in the starting lineup.”

Local American media also showed interest in Nail’s move to the KBO League. ‘MLB Trade Rumors’,

which mainly reports news on the major league transfer market, reported on the 19th (Korean time) that “KIA Tigers’ new foreign pitcher Nail is starting a new challenge in Korea.”

‘MLB Trade Rumors’ evaluated it as a win-win for KIA, St. Louis, and Nail. The media said, “Everyone involved benefited from this contract. Nail turns 31 and has signed the most expensive contract of his career. 

Nail spent seven years in the Oakland farm system, where he never received a big league call-up. 

He detailed Nail’s career, saying, “In the winter between the 2021 and 2022 seasons, he signed a minor league free agent contract with St. Louis.”

He said, “It took quite a long time for him to make his big league debut. Nail appeared as a bullpen member 7 times in the Major League in 2022, but was officially placed on waivers after the end of the season. 

He remained with the club as a non-roster player. St. Louis repeatedly added Nail to the major league roster and then removed him. 

He was given the opportunity to make 10 more major league appearances, but Nail gave up 19 runs in 15⅓ innings.”

KIA predicted that he would play an active role as a starting pitcher. ‘MLB Trade Rumors’ said, “Neil has played as a bullpen pitcher for the past four years. 

He also has experience playing in the starting rotation in 2019. Last year, he played a multi-inning bullpen role in Triple-A, posting a 3.66 ERA in 31 games and 59 innings. 

The strikeout rate was 26%,” he said. “If Nail performs well as a starting pitcher in the KBO League,

he could sign a contract with a major league club within 1 to 2 years,” and judged that if Nail performs well, there is a possibility of him returning to the major league.

KIA has created a one-two punch with the fireballer duo. Over the past two years, KIA’s foreign pitcher farming has been poor. They all left midway through the season. 

While Korea’s best left-handed pitchers, including Yang Hyun-jong and Lee Ui-ri, performed well, foreign pitchers suffered from injuries and slumps. In fact, KIA did not benefit from foreign pitchers at all.

The 2022 season opens with Sean Nolin and Ronnie Williams. However, Nolin was frequently left out of the rotation due to injury. He recorded 8 wins, 8 losses, and an ERA of 2.47 in 21 games and 124 innings,

but his durability was disappointing. Ronnie was more problematic. He only appeared in 10 games, leaving behind a shabby record of 3 wins, 3 losses, and an ERA of 5.89 in 44⅓ innings. 

And Thomas Panoni, who was brought in as a replacement foreign pitcher, recorded 3 wins, 4 losses, and an ERA of 2.47 in 14 games, but was not an inning eater.

KIA recruited Sean Anderson and Adonis Medina ahead of the 2023 season. However, not all of them could complete the season. 

Anderson struggled with ball control and was kicked out after recording 4 wins, 7 losses, and an ERA of 3.76 in 14 games. 

Medina also had a problem with control. He played in 14 games and was released after going 4-7 with an ERA of 3.76. Mario Sanchez and Panoni,

who joined midway through the season, were transfused, but the results were not satisfactory. Sanchez had 4 wins, 4 losses, and an average ERA of 5.94 in 12 games, and Panoni had 6 wins, 3 losses, and an average ERA of 4.26 in 16 games.

Even though foreign pitchers did not do their part, KIA recorded 79 wins, 1 draw, and 73 losses in the 2022 season. We advanced to the postseason in 5th place. 

In the 2023 season, they finished in 6th place with 74 wins, 2 draws, and 69 losses, and the poor performance of foreign pitchers left an even bigger disappointment.

KIA will also form a domestic starting lineup centered around Yang Hyun-jong and Lee Ui-ri in the 2024 season.

 If Crow and Nail post double-digit wins, they are expected to finish the season with a higher ranking than last year.

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