Serious red flags for KIA’s Lee Yi-ri… New faces are needed, even if it means missing out on the quarter-finals

The red flags are up for KIA’s Lee Yi-ri. Lee left the mound in the fifth inning of an away game against KT on 22 August with a sore left shoulder. 스포츠토토 After the third inning, his velocity dropped significantly, revealing a dangerous situation. This is one of the worst signs for a pitcher.

Lee has been the best performer in the KIA starting line-up recently, so it’s a big step up for KIA. Immediately, the race for the top four could be tough.

Lee Yi-ri has been playing full-time since the WBC this season (Photo: Yonhap)

But it’s not just about contending for the top four. Lee is the player of the decade for KIA. Lee has made a significant push since returning from the WBC this season.

Many players who went to the WBC suffered early season setbacks. However, Lee has been consistent from the opening game until now.

First and foremost, Lee hasn’t pitched many innings this season, but it’s not fair to judge Lee’s fitness based on innings pitched alone. That’s because there are plenty of games where he throws more than 100 pitches, even in five innings. His pitches have been shaky early in the season.

This season, Lee has averaged 19.4 pitches per inning (Yonhap)

Lee has thrown a whopping 1940 pitches in just over 100 innings this season. That’s an average of 19.4 pitches per inning. That’s almost 20 pitches. Add to that the fact that he hasn’t been out of the rotation all season, except for once during the off-season to accompany the first team.

As it stands, KIA is by no means in a position to afford to play with a reserve.

However, Yang Hyun-jong returns in a few days. There are also promising players like Hwang Dong-ha, Kim Jae-yeol and Kim Gun-guk. Someone like Kwak Do-kyu has been performing well this season, and you can also consider Kim Yoo-shin on the left side. There’s also Kim Ki-hoon, a first-round pick who has yet to break out.

Of course, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever replace Lee, but at this point, they don’t have a choice. We’ll just have to make do with them.

And if even one new face emerges from this group, that would be a huge boost for KIA.

Hwang Dong-ha, the No. 1 alternate selection candidate (Yonhap)

Kim Jae-yeol, another potential replacement [Image courtesy of the KIA Tigers, resale and DB prohibited].

KIA’s Kim Yoo-sin pitches in the eighth inning during the baseball game between the Hanwha Eagles and the KIA Tigers at KIA Champions Field in Gwangju on Sunday. (Photo = Yonhap)

There are quite a few players, even if they are not pitchers, who have become such new powerhouses this season.

Samsung used Kim Sung-yoon in the second half and it paid off. The Hanwha Eagles used Do-yoon Lee as their new power, and their shortstop worries are over.

It could fail. But for now, even if Kia fails to make it to the top four, the priority for the team is to find new faces and protect their existing valuable talent, which means that regardless of whether or not he gets an MRI, he needs to be taken care of.

That way, they can benefit from the synergy of the new players and the existing ones once they are fully recovered. Above all, Lee Yi-ri is a valuable asset for the KIA Tigers that they can’t trade for ‘one shot at the big four’.

Meanwhile, Lee is undergoing a medical check-up and will be cross-checked today. His exact status has not yet been announced.

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