카지노Keum Heroes’ Ian McKinney, 29, has raised expectations with his first win on debut.
McKinney joined Keum as a replacement foreign pitcher for Eric Yokishi, who was injured and had to leave Keum. Not much was known about McKinney, as he had no major league experience and was playing in the American Independent League. The size of the contract was also not large, with a total of $185,000 (approximately $241,161). His guaranteed salary is $100,000 (approximately $133.6 million), which is the lowest among foreign players in the KBO this season.
McKinney made his KBO debut against Doosan on 25 March, giving up two runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Although he took the loss, he settled down after the first inning and showed promise.
McKinney picked up a no-decision against SSG on the 1st, throwing six innings of three-hit ball with two walks and five strikeouts. It was only his second start since his debut, and it raised expectations. In his post-game interview, he said, “I feel so good today. I’m glad it went so well today. I made a lot of good plays in defence. I also had good chemistry with my catcher, Kim Dong-heon. When McKinney was about to make his debut, coach Hong Won-ki said in an interview, “McKinney was talking for a long time with catcher Kim Dong-heon. I believe that the two players will produce good results with good chemistry.”
Rookie catcher Kim Dong-heon, who has worked with McKinney twice, said, “McKinney talked about what kind of pitcher he is and what kind of ball he wants to throw. I felt like he was a really good player when I talked to him, a little bit like a teacher. Still, I think it’s important to know what kind of player you are, and I got the impression that he was well prepared in that regard,” he said of his first impression of McKinney.
In response to McKinney’s self-introduction, Kim explained, “He said that he has a good vertical movement of the ball, so his delivery is faster than the hitters feel, and that he can use his decisive pitches such as curveballs and changeups well, so I was thinking about those things when I formulated my pitches.”
McKinney, who has a keen interest in data and is trying to adapt quickly to the characteristics of Korean hitters, says: “I think they’re a lot more contact-orientated hitters. They foul a lot and try to make as many in-play pitches as possible. American hitters tend to go for the long ball and take big swings. As a result, it’s relatively easy to induce a false swing and get a strikeout. In Korea, there are many other types of hitters, so I think we need to be more aggressive in attacking the strike zone and make adjustments.” “The US has been hitting a lot of fly balls lately. But in Korea, there are a lot of ground balls, so I think the infielders can help me a lot.”
It will be interesting to see if McKinney, who has shown promise, can fill the void left by Yokishi and earn a spot in the Kiwoom starting line-up.