An Woo-jin, selected for the opening game for two consecutive years… Gwang-Hyun Kim, first in 4 years
Kiwoom Heroes’ native Ace Woo-jin Ahn took on the heavy responsibility of selecting the opening match for the second year in a row.
Director Kiwoom Hong Won-ki announced An Woo-jin as the opening match starter at the 2023 Shinhan Bank Sol KBO Media Day held at the Grand Hyatt Seoul Hotel in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on the 30th.
Coach Hong Won-ki said, “As everyone knows, An Woo-jin is the best pitcher in Korea. Although he still lacks a lot, he continues to improve.” revealed
Last year, Ahn Woo-jin achieved an outstanding record of 15 wins, 8 losses and an average ERA of 2.11 in 30 games, and his skills were in full bloom. In particular, he caught 224 strikeouts, the most in a single season by a domestic pitcher.
Kiwoom’s opening game opponent, the Hanwha Eagles, chose a new foreign pitcher, Birch Smith.
Manager Carlos Subero, who selected Kim Min-woo as the opening game starter in 2021 and 2022 when he took the baton, put a foreign pitcher as the opening game starter this time.
Coach Subero said, “Traditionally, we insisted on a native pitcher as the starting pitcher for the opening game. However, Smith showed the best performance during spring camp and broke the tradition this year.”
SSG Landers coach Kim Won-hyeong called left-handed ace Kim Gwang-hyun as the starting pitcher for the opening game.
It is the first time in four years since 2019 that Kim Gwang-hyun, who played in the major leagues in 2020-2021 and returned to SSG last year, started as a starter for the opening game. Last season, he was unable to start the opening game because his contract was finalized in March, which delayed preparation for the season.
Kim Gwang-hyun showed off his strength by recording 13 wins and 3 losses with an average ERA of 2.13 in 28 games last year, the first year of his return.
Manager Kim Won-hyung said, “Kim Gwang-hyun doesn’t need another modifier.
If the KIA Tigers put Yang Hyeon-jong as the starting pitcher for the opening game, a ‘big match’ would have been made, but coach Kim Jong-guk chose Sean Anderson, who had newly joined the team, as the starting pitcher for the opening game. 토토사이트
Manager Kim Jong-guk explained, “Anderson is in the best condition. He showed the best condition among the five starting pitchers in terms of pitch and control.”
At Jamsil Stadium, Raul Alcantara (Doosan Bears) and Dan Straley (Lotte Giants) will face off as starting pitchers.
Alcantara, who played for KT Wiz in 2019, played an active role in Doosan in the 2020 season with an ERA of 2.54 with 20 wins and 2 losses, and returned this year after playing for the Hanshin Tigers of Japanese professional baseball in 2021-2022.
Strayley left Lotte after the 2021 season and returned midway through last season.
Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “Alcantara has experience playing in Korea and is in good condition. It will be difficult to attack any team.”
Lotte coach Larry Sutton said, “Strayly has experience in starting the opening game.”
In the match between KT Wiz and LG Twins at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, Wes Benjamin and Casey Kelly face off.
Benjamin, who joined KT in the middle of last season and recorded an average ERA of 5-4 and 2.70, showed off his good condition in this year’s demonstration game and was honored with the opening game selection.
Kelly, who is in her 5th year in the KBO League, was not in good shape last year and could not start the opening game, but this year she took on a serious role.
When announcing the starting pitcher, KT coach Lee Kang-cheol said, “I chose Benjamin to beat LG,” and LG coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop also replied, “I chose Kelly to beat KT.”
Samsung coach Park Jin-man selected foreign ace David Buchanan as the starting pitcher for the opening game. The reason is, “Last year, I felt that I was lacking. I worked the hardest during the off-season camp and prepared well.”
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