“Can we get a better hitter?”.
The KIA Tigers finished the 2023 season in a disappointing sixth place. At the same time, the organization’s 2024 roster is getting attention. One of the reasons for the failure of the 2023 season was the poor performance of the foreign pitchers. The trio of foreigners who are the backbone of the team is also the key to next season’s lineup.
This year, KIA used five foreigners in its roster. After last year’s season, the team brought in Shawn Anderson and Adonis Medina, two pitchers with fastballs in excess of 150 kilometers. They released both players during the season and brought in Mario Sanchez and Tomas Panoni. The four outfielders did not lead the starting rotation and ultimately contributed to the team’s fifth-place finish.
Expectations were high going into spring training, but they fell short once the regular season got underway. Anderson went 4-7 with a 3.76 ERA in 14 games. He had eight quality starts, but was far from an ace. Medina was even worse, going 2-6 with a 6.02 ERA in 12 games. Medina was the early favorite to make the switch, but after agonizing over Anderson, he ended up making the switch.
Sanchez pitched a great first game, but was called for balking and began to get hit with a shaky delivery. He also suffered an elbow injury that sidelined him for a month. In 12 games, he went 4-4 with a 5.94 ERA. After failing to re-sign last year, Panoni rejoined the organization this year. Again, he showed promise early on, but has struggled to a mediocre 6-6 record and 4.24 ERA in 16 games.
Outfielder Socrates Brito was a solid performer for the second straight year. He played in 142 games and had 608 plate appearances. He batted .285 with 20 home runs, 96 RBI, 91 runs scored, 15 doubles, and an OPS of .807. His home runs and RBIs were higher than last year. That’s because he played a lot of games. He was also steady in the outfield.
The club has not yet decided whether to re-sign any of the three outfielders, as they are still trying to figure out where they want to go with their roster in 2024, 먹튀검증meaning they will have to wait a bit longer to decide. This is because they need to look at players from the 40-man roster in the American market. “We haven’t decided whether to re-sign them yet. The possibility of replacing them all or partially replacing them is open. We will take enough time to decide.”
It is unlikely that the team will replace all three players as they are evaluated differently. Socrates, in particular, is likely to be re-signed as he has two years of KBO experience and a track record. “Even if we bring in a new player, can he perform as well as this?” said Shim. On the other hand, the team has an abundance of outfielders and needs a foreign first baseman with a long bat.
The team is unlikely to re-sign Sanchez, who has had injury issues. Panoni is a gray area. He has the appeal of being a quality starter with a solid fastball. He can go five or six innings. However, he’s not the type to overwhelm opponents. If the team were to sign a reliever to replace Sanchez, they could re-sign Pannoni. There’s still time before the November 25 deadline to notify players of their intentions to re-sign.