In 2023, KIA had a lot of particularly depressing news. The injury demon that hovered around the team from the beginning of the season tormented the team until the end of the season.
Of course, injuries exist in any team. However, KIA went a little too far. Before the season even started, key hitter Na Seong-beom injured his calf. Despite the initial expectation that it would not take that long until his return, Na Seong-beom’s first game of the season was held on June 23rd. Kim Do-young, who received great expectations for having improved his skills the most, injured his foot while baserunning in the opening two games. He came back and it was June 23rd.
Injuries continued even at the end of the most important season. Mario Sanchez had a sore elbow, and Lee Ui-ri’s blister was not easily resolved. The schedule at the end of the season was tight as many games were already postponed due to rain, so we had to go through a difficult process to find a replacement starter. Even the batting lineup that I had some faith in was devastated by injuries. Na Seong-beom suffered a hamstring injury while running the bases and was out for the season. Hyung-Woo Choi injured his shoulder in a collision at first base and ended his season. Chan-Ho Park ended his season after being hit by a ball.
There was noise externally as well. At the beginning of the season, former general manager Jang Jeong-seok left the team after being embroiled in a ‘request for kickbacks’. Although it does not directly affect performance, it cannot be denied that the atmosphere at the club was turbulent for a while. Even after Director Shim Jae-hak was appointed, a lot of time was spent trying to restore this atmosphere. From start to finish, there was no feeling that the club was stable. When something is worth a try, bad news pops up again, and when it’s said to have been resolved, a more serious problem pops up.
Meanwhile, he finished the season with a better winning percentage (.514) than last year. However, unlike last year, the season ended in vain as they failed to advance to the postseason. It is inevitable that he was unable to show proper performance due to injury.
These misfortunes may have been an extenuating factor for KIA coach Kim Jong-guk and the coaching staff, who were expected to perform better than last year’s performance. In the end, KIA decided to hold the event in 2024 under the director Kim Jong-guk. There wasn’t that much of an internal uproar over this decision. The coaching staff was also completed with a slight reorganization. Since there were various misfortunes this year, it can be said that the decision was made to strengthen the existing organization rather than make major changes.
However, it feels like there is no excuse to just blame bad luck. The gap between them and 5th place Doosan was 1 game. In other words, if the players and coaching staff had worked a little harder, they could have made it to the postseason even with this bad luck. If so, better forgiveness could have been obtained, and the system could have headed into 2024 with a little more stability.
Statistically, KIA was a team that could have achieved better results. In Pythagorean winning percentage, which is calculated based on goal-loss margin, KIA (.514) was the second-highest team in the league after LG (.606). However, the actual ranking was 6th. The bench’s capabilities were also weak in tight, important games. The 1-point margin of victory was 15 wins, 21 losses (.417), 9th in the league, and the 2-point margin of victory was 11 wins, 14 losses (.440), 7th in the league. If the bench’s strategy had been more elaborate and the players had exerted a little more strength in the game, KIA could have gone to a higher place.
If so, from now on KIA should focus on why it failed to do so. In the end, it shows that the problem with the player base and the strategy for utilizing that player base were not sophisticated. Compared to other teams, the sense of substitute selection was significantly lacking, and in the infield, it was confirmed that there was still a large gap in skill between the starting and non-starting players. As a result of not being able to properly test because of grades, there is no proper data to carry over to next year.
Catcher and first baseman Ganghwa, who sang, did not achieve any significant results, at least this year. We need to carefully consider what the problem was, whether there was a way to do better, or whether there was something wrong with the club’s development strategy or resource management. The finishing camp held in Okinawa starting November 1 will be the beginning. It is difficult to just think, “Next year will be better when the injured return.” Conversely, the veterans who form the backbone of the team grow one year older.메이저사이트
Of course, during a long race of 144 races, momentum is sometimes important. That momentum also falls into the realm of luck. However, most matches are ultimately decided by power and strategy. What KIA should do now is not to blame bad luck, but to think carefully about what errors were made in its strategy and how to reorganize its forces. Attention is focused on whether the Kim Jong-guk system, which received one more opportunity despite failing to advance to the postseason, can correct its errors and stand at the starting point again next year.