“I’d like to re-sign Kelly.”
Ahead of the game, the manager expressed his desire to stick with the foreign pitcher for another year. LG Twins foreign pitcher Casey Kelly is likely to take the mound at Jamsil Baseball Stadium next year, but will he end the series on his own terms?
“I would like to re-sign Kelly,” LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said before Game 4 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Korean Series against the KT Wiz at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on April 11, explaining how he plans to organize his starting lineup for the remainder of the series.
“It’s all about what the front office thinks, but Kelly has a lot of heart for the team. Even if we get a new foreign pitcher, having her will be a big help.” He emphasized the importance of Kelly to the team off the field as well.
Kelly has been playing in the KBO since 2019, and he’s been steadily improving every year. From 2019 to 2021, he surpassed 170 innings for the third straight year, showing off his innings-eating prowess. Last season, he won the most games in a season (16) since his debut.
This season, he has a record of 30 games, 178⅔ innings, 10 wins, 7 losses, and a 3.83 ERA. On the surface, Kelly has done his job, pitching the most innings since his rookie year (180⅓). But it hasn’t been a smooth ride. After struggling in April, going 1-2 with a 5.66 ERA in six games and 35 innings, Kelly rebounded in May with a 4-1 record and 2.73 ERA in five games and 33 innings, only to fall back into a downward spiral in June.
The lack of a breakthrough in July left the manager, coaching staff, and front office deeply concerned. Some even suggested that a foreign pitcher was inevitable if the team wanted to challenge for a championship.
In the end, LG’s choice was not to replace but to trust. Above all, the player’s will was strong. Kelly made a breakthrough during the season by constantly talking to his teammates and coaching staff, including requesting a face-to-face meeting with the manager. 토토사이트
It paid off in performance. Kelly improved in August, going 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA in five starts and 28 innings, then regained his ace form in September, going 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA in five starts and 31⅓ innings. As LG prepared for the Korean Series, the team was able to keep Kelly in the starting lineup, giving him a confidence boost.
In Game 1 of the Korean Series against KT on April 7, Kelly shut down the KT offense with 6⅓ innings of four-hit ball, two walks, six strikeouts, and two runs (one earned). Although the team lost 2-3, he did what he was supposed to do as a starter.