It is an important selection decision given by the biggest matchmaker.

KIA Tigers fifth-year left-hander Kim Ki-hoon (23) makes his first start of the season. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk plans to start Kim Ki-hoon against the Lotte Giants at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on the 14th. Kim Ki-hoon appeared in relief in all 28 games for the first team this season. His last start in the first team was against the Gwangju LG Twins on October 23, 2020 (2⅔ innings, 1 hit, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 4 runs, 1 earned run, loss). If he takes the mound against Lotte as scheduled, he will step on the mound for the first team as a starting pitcher in 1,056 days.

Kim Ki-hoon, who completed his military service at Sangmu last year, was full of expectations. As chronic ball control improved significantly, results were produced in the Futures (Second Division) League. He was selected as an All-Star in the 2022 KBO Futures League and received the Outstanding Pitcher Award after pitching 3 scoreless innings with a maximum velocity of 149 km. After being discharged from the military, his expectations grew higher as he recorded an ERA of 1.04 in 8⅔ innings in 5 first-team games. KIA selected Kim Ki-hoon as one of the top five starting candidates along with Yoon Young-cheol (19) and Lim Ki-young (30) at this year’s spring camp.

Was it because of the burden? Kim Ki-hoon rarely showed his power in exhibition games. He showed poor performance not only in velocity but also in ball control. In the end, the competition for the 5th starter ended with Yoon Young-cheol’s victory, and Kim Ki-hoon started the regular season in the bullpen position. Kim Ki-hoon, who pitched 31⅓ innings in 28 games this season, has 2 wins, no losses, and an ERA of 3.45. Although he has not hit any home runs, he has given up 34 walks while striking out 26, and his WHIP (on-base percentage allowed per inning) is also high at 1.95. It seemed like he couldn’t find an answer to his homework of anxiety.

온라인바카라 KIA was faced with the problem of having Sanchez recover from an injury, and even Lee Ui-ri, who returned from shoulder inflammation, skip a rotation due to a burst blister. KIA, which used replacement starters Hwang Dong-ha (20) and Kim Geon-guk (35) as replacement starters in the four-game series, including the double header against LG held in Gwangju on the 8th to 10th, chose to give Kim Ki-hoon a chance.

Manager Kim said, “Kim Ki-hoon has been increasing the number of pitches in the Futures team. Even during his time as managing director, he was in the starting position. I thought he should be given more opportunities as a starter rather than in the bullpen.” He added, “In the current situation, give Kim Ki-hoon, who has experience as a starter, one more chance. “I plan to give it to you,” he said. He continued, “The Futures performance was good, but the first team is a different stage.” He added, “Rather than having high expectations right now, I hope that like Hwang Dong-ha and Kim Geon-guk, he can block the inning as much as possible with 60 to 70 pitches. If good pitches come out, we can go a little longer.” “There is,” he added.

Kim Ki-hoon wearing a KIA uniform as the first round pick of the 2019 rookie draft. During his time at Dongseong High School in Gwangju, his talent was recognized enough to join the youth national team and become a starter in the Korea-Japan match. He has already reached his fifth year as a professional, and now is the time to reveal his talent. Attention is being paid to whether the opportunity he seized at the most important moment will be the clue to a rebound.

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