The Kia Tigers continue to be plagued by pitching risks. With Han Seung-taek, their starting catcher, out with an injury, rookie Shin Bum-soo is struggling. The presence of a calculating veteran catcher has become urgent.
On June 23, KIA lost 3-10 against KT WIZ in Gwangju. The loss was their third in a row and kept them in eighth place in the league with a record of 28 wins, one draw, and 34 losses. They are now within 2.5 games of the ninth-place Hanwha Eagles.
They were already heavily favored in the starting matchup. On this day, KIA sent rookie right-hander Hwang Dong-ha to the mound in place of Yoon Young-chul, who was expunged from the first team. Despite scoring the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning, Hwang Dong-ha was unable to get the job done, allowing three runs on four hits (one home run) in two innings with two strikeouts and one walk. The KIA bench mobilized its bullpen early in the third inning.
However, the second pitcher, Yoon Jung-hyun, gave up five runs on eight hits (one home run) and two walks in 2.1 innings.
The only consolation came from infielder Kim Do-young (two hits, one run) and outfielder Na Sung-beom (one home run, one RBI, one run, one walk), who returned to the first team.
With the return of Kim Do-young and Na Seong-beom, the only remaining question mark for the KIA offense is the catching staff. Han Seung-taek and Joo Hyo-sang, who shared the backstop from the opening day roster, disappeared from the first team due to injury and poor performance, respectively. Shin Bum-soo came out of nowhere to take over the starting job, but he seems to be struggling as time goes on.
Shin has appeared in 30 games this season, batting .173 with 13 hits, one home run, and nine RBIs. In his last five games, Shin has gone cold with just one hit. On top of that, he’s still struggling with his defense, including his catching and blocking. This is bound to affect the pitchers, who have to trust their catchers and throw the ball with confidence.
As a result, the presence of an established veteran catcher is urgently needed. A KIA official said, “We can’t help but admit that our catcher depth is relatively thin. Whether it’s in the middle of the season or after the season, it seems like it’s something that needs to be reinforced. The ideal picture would be to have a veteran catcher leading the way and younger catchers supporting him, gaining experience little by little.”
Since the team can’t give up on the season right now, a trade for a catcher is one option. However, it is also true that KIA’s long-standing trade process has become stuck in a rut. There have been cases where the two sides kept swapping cards and then fell apart, and there have also been cases where the table was naturally withdrawn due to rapid changes in the other team’s situation.메이저놀이터
Still, you never know when and how things will change with trades. We’re about a month away from the trade deadline. While the trade market has calmed down somewhat, you never know when things will suddenly spark as the deadline approaches. It will be interesting to see if KIA makes a dramatic midseason move to add to their catching staff.