When we mentioned the possibility of replacement, the changed Ens/Kelly…Who will survive

Who will survive in the competition for survival of foreign pitchers in the LG Twins in professional baseball.

LG had been troubled by the sluggish performances of the two foreign pitchers from the beginning of this season. Casey Kelly, who entered his sixth season in the KBO League, has not shown the same performance as usual, and Detrick Ence, who had high expectations as the first starter, has not displayed his best performance.안전놀이터

Coach Yeom Kyung-yeop, who led LG to the unified title last year, judged that he needed a better foreign pitcher than Kelly to maintain the top rank again this year.

To this end, LG Electronics was given the right resource. In December last year, the company signed a contract to meet the annual salary cap of 1 million U.S. dollars.

In the beginning of the season, N.S. showed what LG had expected. He has made four quality starts (more than six innings and less than three earned runs) in five games since the season opened. Notably, in the match against the Kiwoom Heroes on March 23, he struck out 11 times in six innings, allowing no run.

However, since mid-April, the ups and downs have been severe.

In the first game of the doubleheader against SSG Landers on April 21, he collapsed by allowing eight runs after eight hits, including two home runs, in five innings. In the game against Lotte Giants on the 10th of this month, he pitched well with one run in six ⅓, but in the game against Kiwoom Heroes on May 16, he was shaken by nine hits and six runs in three ⅔.

Kelly, who has been LG’s solid ace since 2019, including 16-4 with a 2.54 ERA in 2022, slowed down a bit with a 10-7 record with a 3.83 ERA in 30 games last year, and continued a severe slump this year.

Kelly also showed stable performance through early April. He allowed six hits (one homer) and three runs (two earned runs) in seven innings against the KT Wiz on April 6, and two hits, eight strikeouts and one run (non earned run) in seven innings against the Doosan Bears on April 12.

Just like Ence, however, he has been sluggish since mid-April. He allowed six hits (one homer) and five runs in five innings at a game against SSG on May 8, and in a game against the Hanwha Eagles on May 21, he had eight hits including two homers and allowed eight runs during five innings.

When the two foreign pitchers were in trouble, manager Yeom hinted at the possibility of selecting an alternative candidate last week, saying, “One of them will have to prepare for replacement.”

Perhaps manager Yeom’s remarks were a stimulus, both Ens and Kelly wrote quality starts side by side in their subsequent appearances.

Kelly, who started the game against the NC Dinos on the 26th, pitched six innings of five hits and three runs, earning his second win (six losses) of the season. It was his first win in 44 days since the game against Doosan Bears on April 12.

Two days later, at the match against SSG on Friday, Ens also struck out nine during six innings, displaying stellar performance by allowing four hits and two runs. He led his team to a 7-5 victory, securing its fifth win of this season.

LG’s general manager Cha Myung-seok left for the U.S. on the 28th to directly examine the new foreign pitcher candidate.

LG is not in a hurry to replace foreign pitchers. The team plans to wait and see until the end of June.

“Cha went to the U.S. to see in person the pitcher on the list. We are not urgently proceeding with the replacement of foreigners,” an LG source said. “We will wait until the end of June to make a decision. We will start the recruitment process in earnest only if we judge that there are better players than Ens and Kelly.”

It hinted at the possibility of a replacement, but if Ens and Kelly rebound, there is a possibility that foreign replacements will not take place.

A club source said, “If Ens and Kelly show different performances and no better players are noticed, both may remain. In fact, the best scenario is that the two players rebound.”

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