“It’s been decided. Im Chan-kyu is the third starter.”
LG Twins pitcher Im Chan-kyu has truly captured the heart of his manager. LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop nailed down Im, who started the season as a long reliever, as the third starter.
“Chan-kyu is the third starter,” Yoon said before the team’s 2023 Shinhan Bank Solar KBO League game against SSG Landers at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on April 24.안전놀이터
“He’s almost settled in,” Yeom said, “and I think he’s got his pitches and his mindset. He doesn’t just try to throw hard, and his game management has changed,” he said, lavishing praise on Im.
“From the camp, I told him, ‘Think about what your strengths are. I told him to get the restraints out of his head. I convinced him that he needed to be a pitcher with a variety of pitches to be successful, and I think it worked out well for him as the season progressed.”
His status changed just over two months into the season.
In preparation for this season, Lim was a long-relief pitcher. This is the role of a reliever who can go multiple innings if a starter goes down early.
He started the season “as planned,” pitching in relief for the first four games. He pitched eight innings in four games from April 2 against the KT Wiz to April 11 against the Lotte Giants, posting a 5.63 ERA.
The opportunity came sooner than expected.
When starter Lee Min-ho went down with an injury, Im was given the opportunity to start in his place.
In his first start of the season, on March 16, he threw 3⅓ innings of one-run ball against the Doosan Bears. Since then, he has only taken the mound as a starter.
The day before, he pitched six innings of three-hit ball (one home run), one walk, three strikeouts, and one run against SSG.
In six starts this year, he is 4-0 with a 1.47 ERA.
The manager has even higher expectations for Lim, who has secured his starting spot with his stellar performance. “I think he’ll win more than 10 games. I think he will win at least 13 games,” Yeom said, expressing his confidence in Im.
Im, who turned pro in 2011, was initially eligible for free agency after last season, but he opted not to apply for free agency as he struggled last season, going 6-11 with a 5.04 ERA.
The “third starter” role could be even more motivating for Lim, who can exercise his free agency rights again after this season.