The KIA Tigers have set a date for new foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez’s KBO debut.
“We are thinking about Sunday (against KT on the 9th),” KIA head coach Kim Jong-guk said of Sanchez’s KBO debut before the team’s fifth game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League season against the KT Wiz at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Sunday.
Sanchez, who signed with KIA on June 6, appeared in 10 games this season for the Tung Yi Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), starting nine. His numbers were solid, going 8-1 with a 1.44 ERA in 62⅔ innings. His career minor league record is 44-33 with a 3.94 ERA in 210 games (77 starts).
At the time of the signing announcement, KIA said of Sanchez, “He was evaluated as a suitable substitute starter because of his stable delivery, excellent game management skills, and diverse pitches, and he pitched so well in the Taiwanese Baseball League this year that he led the league in wins and ERA in the first half of the season.”
Sanchez arrived in South Korea on the 5th, passed the medical test the next day, and quickly finalized his visa to join the team. On the 7th, he trained with the team to check his physical condition before the game against KT.
“I met Sanchez at the hotel for lunch earlier and watched him train,” said Kim Jong-kook, “and his pitching mechanics are stable. We’ll have to see once we open the lid, but I think we can expect a lot from him in terms of his ability to run the game and the variety of pitches he has.”
KIA finalized the pitching schedule considering the short travel distance between Taiwan and South Korea and the fact that Sanchez has been playing until recently. “We’re thinking about Sunday because he’s from close by and I think he’s ready to go,” said manager Kim Jong-guk.먹튀검증
There is no timetable for the arrival of another foreign pitcher, Thomas Pannoni. Like Sanchez, he will have to wait for his visa to be issued before there is a concrete timetable. “I think we’ll have to check after the visa comes out and think about the rotation,” Kim Jong-kook said.