Kiwoom’s new foreign pitcher, Ian McKinney, 29, is taking steps to play in the KBO. After a short trip to Japan, he will accompany the team on the 23rd.
“McKinney warmed up and trained with the second team today,” manager Hong Won-ki said before the first game of the midweek 먹튀검증series against Samsung in the 2023 KBO regular season at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Tuesday. He’s going to Japan tomorrow to get his visa,” Won-ki said.
“He will come back and accompany the team from Friday (Nov. 23). It’s important for him to integrate quickly. I’ll be with the team so I can adapt. As for the start date, we’ll see. I’ll have to make one or two pitches before I can make a judgment call.”
He replaces Eric Yokish. Yokishi has been a steady starter for five years, starting in 2019, but this season hasn’t been great, with a 5-3 record and a 4.39 ERA in 12 games and 65.2 innings pitched.
Kiwoom made the bold move of releasing Yokish and immediately brought in McKinney. McKinney was a 6-foot-1, 200-pounder with a fastball that topped out at 147 mph and a variety of pitches, including a cutter, changeup, and curveball. He signed a contract totaling $185,000.
He doesn’t have a big league career ahead of him. He was drafted by St. Louis in the fifth round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He has only played in the minors since then. In 176 games (103 starts) and 667.2 innings, he has a 49-31 record with a 3.59 ERA.
This season, he played for the Gastonia Honeyhunters of the Atlantic League of the American Independent League. In eight games, he pitched 46.2 innings with a 4-1 record and a 4.24 ERA. He also served as a pitching coach for the organization. He also has the advantage of having an extensive understanding and use of analytics.
After signing, McKinney said, “I’m honored to join the team that finished runner-up last year. I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates and fans. I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates and fans. I’ll work hard on my conditioning and analytics to help the team win and win the Korean Series.”
Kiwoom’s game is strong, but his resume is far from stellar. He made it to Triple-A, but the major leagues weren’t easy. Instead, Kiwoom saw potential in the KBO. It doesn’t cost a lot of money.
“We didn’t have a lot of data,” says Hong Won-ki. He’s not a player with a good career. You have to see him throw. In a way, Yokishi didn’t have huge expectations when he first came. If I can do what Yokishi did, it would be even better,” he laughed.
“We have high hopes, but it’s still very early. It’s important that he adjusts well and integrates quickly. They say we have good chemistry. I don’t think there will be a big problem if we do a good power analysis with catcher Lee Ji-young.”
“Until McKinney comes, Jang Jae-young will be the starter, and we’ll have other resources ready,” said Hong Won-ki.