Instead of a stable veteran, a rookie was hired. Even though experience is absolutely important as a catcher, it is a decision that looks to the future as much as winning. Kim Ki-yeon (26), not Heo Do-hwan (39), was on the LG opening entry catcher.
In accordance with the regulations, LG delivered an entry for the opening game메이저놀이터on April 1 to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) on the afternoon of the 31st. Afterwards, the KBO collected and announced the 10 team entries. As a result of the announcement, LG only included two catchers (Park Dong-won and Kim Ki-yeon), even though LG secured three entry positions with two starting pitchers. Also, infielder Kim Joo-seong, outfielder Lee Chun-woong, and newcomers Park Myeong-geun, Yoo Young-chan, Song Seung-gi, and Baek Seung-hyun joined the roster.
It was something that was decided early on. LG coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop paid attention to Kim Ki-yeon’s growth during the spring camp. He praised the improvement in his defensive power while overcoming the harsh training of battery coach Park Kyung-wan. Director Yeom said, “Kim Ki-yeon has improved a lot in both blocking and throwing. When he enters the season, he will work with Kang Hyo-jong.”
Regarding Heo Do-hwan, who was excluded from the entry, Yeom said, “It does not mean that Heo Do-hwan is not a player who does not need it. If someone gets injured or goes to the postseason, they will use Dohwan. However, there was not much time left for Dohwan. He saw that it was a good time for Dohwan to prepare for his second life as well. In the meantime, I will develop new players. Do-hwan will have time to play in the second team during home games and prepare for his second life during away games.”
Kim Ki-yeon, who joined in 2016, played only 14 games in the first team stage until last year. He came up to the first team for the first time after his discharge during the expansion entry last year and played 12 games. Although the sample is small, his batting average of 0.381 and 2 home runs during the exhibition game this year showed off his talent at bat. At the time of his joining, he was also considered as a catcher with an advantage in hitting rather than defense, but it is evaluated that his defense has been steadily improving in recent years.
Heo Do-hwan, who joined the pros in 2003, played 779 games in his career. He mainly served as the second catcher, and last year also played 64 games, backing up Yoo Gang-nam and forming a battery with Kim Yun-shik. This season, Kim Yun-sik plans to work with Park Dong-won.
Manager Yeom cares about the growth of prospects as much as winning. As a result, he replaced veteran Lim Chan-gyu in the starting lineup with Kang Hyo-jong. It was also predicted that Lee Jae-won and Son Ho-young would increase the proportion, but when both of them left due to injuries, Song Chan-eui instead of Lee Jae-won and Kim Joo-seong instead of Son Ho-young got a chance. Song Chan-eui is highly likely to start as the first baseman in the opening game. For the bullpen, rookie Park Myeong-geun, Yoo Young-chan, and Song Seung-gi were included in the opening roster for the first time.
LG dropped Casey Kelly and Kim Yun-sik as starting pitchers in the opening two games against KT, which will be held from April 1st. Kim Yun-sik, who only appeared twice in demonstration games due to participating in the WBC, plans to limit the number of pitches to around 70 in the game on April 2. As the proportion of the bullpen increased, many middle pitchers entered the entry.