LG’S I’M CHAN-KYU “LAST YEAR, I WAS DEPENDENT ON THE BULLPEN DOMESTIC STARTERS NEED TO PITCH A LOT OF INNINGS”

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LG Twins pitcher Im Chan-kyu (31) has vowed to improve his defense and other homegrown starters this year. “Last year, (LG’s) defense, offense and bullpen were all good, but the domestic starters were a little weak,” Lim told reporters at Incheon International Airport before departing for spring training on Tuesday .Indeed, homegrown starters were the weak link for the 2023 champions .Despite having the best bullpen ERA (3.43) and the best team batting average (0.279), LG’s starting pitching staff ranked fifth in the league (3.92).It was against this backdrop that the team made a trade to acquire starter Choi Won-tae from the Kiwoom Heroes last July .However, Choi struggled after his move to LG, and the only homegrown starter who really stepped up last year was Im Chan-kyu. Last year, Im led the KBO in wins (14-3) while pitching the most innings in regulation (144) in three years. His ERA was 3.42.

“If the domestic starters eat a lot of innings, the bullpen leakage (due to the departures of Ko Woo-seok and Ham Deok-ju) will be repaired,” Lim said, adding, “We owe a lot to the bullpen last year, so it would be good if our starters do their best this year.” “Regulation innings are basic, and I think 150, 160 innings is the qualification for a free agent,” said the pitcher, who signed a four-year, 5 billion won contract with LG last year .However, he refrained from giving specific personal goals .He’s determined to take the season one pitch at a time, rather than getting impatient with his goals. “I want to win a championship, have an ERA in the 3s, win 15 games, and start the Korean Series,” he said, “but if I set goals, I can’t achieve them.” “I just have to go up there (to the mound) and throw the ball,” he said.

He also tried not to read too much into LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop’s decision to pick him as the third starter. “I always have the perception that I’m a pitcher who goes out when I’m told to go out. “For example, if the manager says, ‘Can you go to the middle,’ I’ll go right away,” he said. That’s a player, that’s a pitcher,” he emphasized. “I think Won-tae will do a good job as a third starter (instead of me),” he laughed .Im’s contract totaled 5 billion won, with a 600 million won signing bonus, 2 billion won in guaranteed salary, and 2.4 billion won in incentives. He joked, “I couldn’t resist,” referring to the high incentives, and 스포츠토토존 then said, “I was very focused before entering the camp. It was definitely motivating.”

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