KBO long-lived foreign aces are anxious about starting
The start of the season for long-serving foreign starters in the KBO, who have been responsible for the mound like a hearty bowl of soup for the past several years, is unusual. Depending on whether it is a temporary condition or the result of a decline in pitch, each team’s season report card may change.
Lotte Dan Strayley (35) could not last 5 innings against Samsung on the 14th. He hit one home run, gave up five walks, and gave up four runs (three earned) in 4.2 innings. He went 2 losses in 3 starts without a win, with 10 earned runs in 15.2 innings pitched for an earned run average of 5.74.
What is worrisome is the deterioration of restraint. The average velocity of Strayley’s fastball this season is only 142.2 km per hour. Compared to 145.9 km per hour in 2021, which was the fastest, it fell close to 4 km. Compared to last year’s 143.7 km, it was also reduced by 1.5 km. Although it is the beginning of the season, there are little concerns about the ‘aging curve’. Strayley is already in his mid-thirties. Charlie Barnes, the other axis of the foreign one-two punch, is sluggish (average ERA of 10.80) more than Strayley, so Lotte is worried at the beginning of the season.
Casey Kelly (34), who has been consistently active as LG 1 starter since 2019, also has a bad start to the season. He has a 6.11 earned run average in three starts. After giving up 6 runs in 5.1 innings against KT in the opening game, he tried to recover with 2 runs in 7 innings against Samsung on the 7th, but collapsed again on the 13th against Lotte, giving up 8 runs (4 earned) in 5.1 innings. Last season, Kelly had a 2.74 earned run average in his first four starts in April. In April of the 2021 season, he had an average ERA of 2.25 in 5 games. 안전놀이터
Looking at the record alone, KBO hitters this season don’t find Kelly’s ball too difficult. The swing miss rate, which was 22.9% last season, has dropped to 17.6% this year. In 17.2 innings, he struck out only 11 and hit 3 home runs already. In 2019, Kelly hit only seven home runs in 180.1 innings.
Samsung David Buchanan (34) and Kiwoom Eric Yokishi (34), who also struggled in the early stages, are looking for stability. The average ERA is not yet at a level that does not match the value of the name (Buchanan 3.60, Yorkish 4.24), but the detailed indicators are not bad. Based on FIP (defense irrelevant ERA), Buchanan is 2.66 and Yokishi is 2.82. Similar to, or better than, previous years.