Rain falls on the mound of the ‘left-handed’ KIA Tigers. It is the return of pitcher Jang Hyeon-sik, the ‘King of the Hold’. Jang Hyun-sik made his first appearance in the Futures League and shot a successful rehabilitation signal.
Jang Hyun-sik took the mound against the Masan NC Dinos in the Futures League on April 7 and recorded 3 hits and 1 run in 1.1 innings. Since it was his first appearance for inspection, his pitch and physical condition were more important than the result. His fastball speed averaged 138 km/h and peaked at 145 km/h. Even after pitching, he prepares for the next appearance with no symptoms.
At the time of the 2021 season hold king (34 holds), Jang Hyun-sik played 76.2 innings in 69 games of the season. Amid concerns over overload, Jang Hyun-shik took the mound in 54 games in the 2022 season and played 52 innings, then underwent surgery to remove bone fragments in his elbow in October and focused on rehabilitation for about 4 months. Jang Hyun-sik, who showed a faster-than-expected rehabilitation pace, skipped the first spring camp in Arizona, USA, but joined the team during the second spring camp in Okinawa, Japan and continued training.
Jang Hyun-sik, who met with reporters at the time of the spring camp, said, “I decided that it would be better to have surgery without pain and throw the ball without worry than to remain in an uncertain state while being sick. It is fortunate that I was able to reduce my hiatus a little bit by undergoing off-season surgery. There is talk of a comeback around April or May, but I wonder if an outline of the point of return will come out if I keep watching the situation.”
Even after returning to camp, Jang Hyun-sik steadily raised his pitching pace in the Futures team. KIA coach Kim Jong-guk predicted the time of Jang Hyun-sik’s return between late April and early May. However, there is a good chance that the first team call-up will be made earlier than expected depending on the team mound circumstances and Jang Hyun-sik’s pitching condition. 메이저사이트
The KIA bench, which kicked off the 2023 season, made a mound entry focused on left-handed pitchers. In the bullpen, the only orthodox right-handed pitcher is Jeon Sang-hyun, the setup man, except for closer Jung Hae-young. The rest of the bullpen pitchers are left-handed. Rookie left-hander Kwak Do-kyu unexpectedly joined the opening roster, and the pitcher who will enter the fifth starting pitcher is also rookie left-hander Yoon Young-cheol.
While the lack of right-handed pitchers is certain, the return of Jang Hyeon-sik, who is from the ‘Hold King’, can eventually be of great help to the team’s mound management. The most ideal picture is to select and use abundant left-handed resources depending on the situation, centering on the trio of ‘Triple J’ right-hander Pil Seung-jo, leading to Jang Hyeon-shik, Jeon Sang-hyun and Jung Hae-young.
Of course, the first thing to do is to run the season long race in a healthy way without overdoing it. Nothing is more important than preventing injury from recurring. Jang Hyeon-sik, who is about to start the season, also said, “It is good to re-challenge the hold king, but it is more important to throw the ball steadily in the first team for a year without getting sick. I will show KIA fans an activity that can help the team until the end of the season.”
The picture of Jang Hyun-sik returning healthy and throwing the ball without getting sick until the end is expected to be the biggest wish of KIA and fans.