KIA Tigers’ new foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez (29) will make his debut in the KBO League.
Sanchez will start as a starting pitcher in the match against KT Wiz in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ held at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on the 9th.
Sanchez, who signed a contract with KIA for a total of 280,000 dollars on the 6th as a substitute foreign player for Adonis Medina, is a right-handed pitcher who has been active in Taiwanese professional baseball this season. In Taiwan, he achieved an overwhelming record with an average ERA of 1.44 with 8 wins and 1 loss in 10 games (62⅔ innings). He has no major league experience, and in the minor leagues, he went 44-33 with a 3.94 earned run average in 210 games (674⅓ innings) over 10 seasons.
Sanchez, who joined the team on the 7th, said in an interview on the 8th, “Both arm and body conditions are good. He’s ready to throw right tomorrow. When I first went to Taiwan, it took about 2 weeks to adjust to the jet lag, so I had a hard time. However, the time difference between Taiwan and Korea is only 1 hour. It’s not particularly difficult. I’m fine now,” he said, showing confidence in his physical condition.
Manager Kim Jong-guk also said, “Since Sanchez has continued to throw the ball in Taiwan, I don’t think there is a need to put any restrictions on the number of pitches. There is no need to adapt to jet lag,” he said, adding that Sanchez, who will start as a starting pitcher on this day, will fulfill his role as a starting pitcher normally.
Regarding the KBO League, Sanchez said, “The first impression I got after coming to Korea was that Korean batters have power and seem to have power. But baseball is all the same. It doesn’t change that it’s a game where the pitcher throws and the batter hits anyway.” Regarding the strike zone of the KBO League, he said, “In the last game, we checked the strike zone of the referees through a video. Overall, I think I made the decision correctly. I am not too worried,” he added.
The KIA said of Sanchez, “Sanchez has excellent game management skills based on stable control and has a variety of pitches, so he was evaluated as suitable as an alternative starter. He uses fast balls, curves, sliders, and changeups with an average speed of 140 km per hour. In addition, he showed excellent pitching enough to rank first in the first half of this year’s Taiwan Professional Baseball League in terms of wins and average ERA.” 토토사이트
Sanchez emphasized his strength as “command” and said, “I always try to pay attention to control. I also analyzed the data, and there are pitches that seem to work well in Korea. But that can’t be said right now. All I can say right now is that I will throw a strike. I will throw a lot of strikes,” he explained.
KIA is staying at 7th in the league in starting ERA this season (.429). Foreign pitchers Sean Anderson and Medina were both sluggish. In response, KIA recruited Sanchez and Thomas Panoni and threw a winning move to replace all foreign pitchers.
Attention is focused on the game today to see what Sanchez, who may decide the direction of KIA’s remaining season, will show.