The player to fill the void left by Ahn Woo-jin has been chosen. Kiwoom Heroes right-hander Kim Dong-kyu will make his debut start against his “hometown team” the LG Twins. 먹튀검증
“(The 13th starter) is a very tall pitcher,” Kiwoom head coach Hong Won-ki said on Wednesday ahead of the team’s 14th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League season against LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. Kiwoom was looking for a replacement starter after demoting Ahn Woo-jin to the second team to rest after his start against the Gocheok Lotte Giants on Aug. 8, and decided to give Kim Dong-gyu the job.
Kim Dong-gyu, who graduated from Yeongnam Middle and Seongnam High School, joined LG with the 17th pick in the second round of this year’s draft and was transferred to Kiwoom along with outfielder Lee Ju-hyung via trade on March 29. Kim, who was playing in the Futures League before switching teams, has played two games in the Futures League with Kiwoom. While he had a solid performance against the SSG Landers on April 4 with five innings of four-hit ball, one walk and three strikeouts, he struggled against the Lotte Giants on April 9 with ⅓ inning of two-hit ball and three walks (two earned runs).
“Kim Dong-gyu started with the team in Gochuk (midweek against Lotte), and when he pitched against Lotte on the 9th, we informed him in advance that he would be starting in the first team, so we instructed him to throw a short inning and join the first team,” said manager Hong Won-ki. “He said he was nervous that day and the result was a little bad. He said he was nervous that day and the results weren’t great. I think there was pressure, and that’s something a player has to go through and overcome.”
Kim’s only first-team appearance this season came on June 10 against the Hanwha Eagles, when he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in ⅓ innings. Moreover, the fact that he will be facing LG in his debut start could be a pressure on him.
“It might be a little brutal (making his debut against his hometown team), and there will be a lot of pressure on him as a young player,” said Hong Won-ki. “If the fearful feelings turn into confidence, the energy will be tremendous. Even if it’s not a lot of advice, I hope that the player’s confident pitching will serve as a foundation for Kim Dong-gyu to grow to the next level as a starting pitcher.” He expressed his expectations for Kim Dong-gyu.