“The angle of his changeup seems to have improved, similar to Ko Young-pyo’s changeup…”
SBS Sports commentator Kim Tae-hyung marveled at the pitching of KIA Submarine Im Ki-young (30) while broadcasting the KIA-Samsung game in Daegu on the 19th. Lim came on in the bottom of the eighth inning with the score 6-5 and pitched two scoreless innings with one strikeout to earn the save. He only needed 21 pitches to get six outs.
Commentator Kim Tae-hyung said, “The angle of his changeup has improved. It flies like a fastball and then drops like a fastball, so the point of release (for the batter) can look the same.” Indeed, the changeup grip change has been key to Lim’s transformation into a salty set-up man this season.
Ki-Young Lim’s changeup doesn’t have the same drop it used to. He changed his grip a bit in preparation for this season, and it paid off. According to baseball stats site Statiz, Lim’s batting average on his changeup this season is 0.161. That’s a far cry from last year’s 0.234. His 0.178 BABIP for the season is due to the changeup.
Hitters have no idea what to expect from Lim’s changeup, which follows the same trajectory as his fastball. The same goes for Samsung, which saves pitches by inducing easy hits. Despite his frequent multi-inning outings, he doesn’t throw a lot of pitches (944). He throws 14.75 pitches per inning.
In terms of competitiveness this season, Lim is the closer. In 44 games, he’s 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA, three saves, 11 holds, a .178 batting average and a 0.83 WHIP. His 64 innings are the most of any pure reliever. Has pitched multiple innings in four of his last 10 games. Kim Jong-kook’s most obvious must-have.
Closer Jung Hae-young, on the other hand, has struggled this year. In 33 games, he has a 3-2 record, 10 saves, one hold, and a 3.86 ERA. That’s not bad, but it’s not as impressive as the 2021 and 2022 seasons, when he had more than 30 saves in back-to-back years. After spending the month of June rebalancing his pitches, he bounced back in July with four saves and a 1.35 ERA in eight games. 스포츠토토
However, he faltered again in August. He went 1-0 with an 8.44 ERA in five games. It’s significant that Kim Jong-kook removed Jung Hae-young from the game on the 19th and asked Im Ki-young to finish the second inning. At this point, he has the most faith in the bullpen. It made sense for KIA, who needed one win in the series.
This could be a problem for manager Kim Jong-kook. Based on the pitching, content, and competitiveness, it might make sense to replace the closer with Lim Ki-young. Although he is new to the professional bullpen, he has already shown several times, including on the 19th, that he can handle the most critical late-game situations. On the other hand, Kim could stick with his current bullpen position and role if he thinks he can save Jeong. However, Jung hasn’t exactly rebounded this year.
Using Lim as a closer could help stabilize the team’s back end and reduce the number of multi-inning appearances. That’s because he’s usually only used in the ninth inning. While Lim has done a good job of managing his pitch count this season, frequent multi-inning outings shouldn’t be a concern given the tight schedule in September and October and the postseason.
This is entirely in the hands of manager Kim Jong-kook. If he decides it’s better to use Lim Ki-young in the middle innings, he can keep him in the rotation. If so, he should definitely support Jung’s resurgence. It’s a very important issue as the team is desperate for a win.