Kiumb’s ‘Winnow’ takes a step, two steps, or more

“We’ve never had a season where we didn’t aim to win a championship,” Kiwoom president Ko Hyung-wook said before the start of the regular season in April. The answer came amid talk of Kiwoom’s “win-now” mentality, which the team has practically publicized in its preparations for this season.

Wherever Kiwoom’s goals have been, they have never been as close to the club’s internal will and external evaluation as this season. Above all, everyone was watching closely as the KBO’s top two hitters might be in their final seasons with Kiwoom.

Outfielder Lee Jung-hoo and pitcher Ahn Woo-jin ranked first and second in the KBO in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) for the 2022 season. Lee posted 10.25 and Ahn 7.92. Kiwoom could have added “18 wins” last year by having these two players.

It makes perfect sense that Kiwoom would try to do something while they had them. In reality, Kiwoom has formalized its intention to aim high in the free agency (FA) market and the future FA market in an unusual move.

Kiwoom can still dream next year. However, the timing of the return of the “winnow chance” that everyone is talking about is harder to predict.

Lee Jeong-hoo, who suffered an ankle injury in July that ruled him out for the remainder of the season, is a lock to make the major leagues through the upcoming winter posting (sealed bid system). Add to that the fact that mound pivot Ahn Woo-jin is headed to the operating table with an elbow injury, and it’s unclear if he’ll be on the first team mound next season. Kiwoom announced the diagnosis of Ahn’s elbow ligament damage on the second of this month, along with a rough surgical plan. Elbow ligament splicing surgery usually requires a year to return to play.

Ahn, who is in his sixth season in the KBO, could perform military service during the surgery. In this case, it is unlikely that Ahn will be able to return in the 2025 season.

Kiwoom has used Lee Jeong-hoo and Ahn Woo-jin as the backbone of the team in recent seasons, while adding flesh to the bones. After next season, they face the reality of building a completely different team with different colors.메이저놀이터

In the outfield, the team will need to choose a jade stone from among the outfielders who have been stagnant this season, while confirming the growth of Lee Joo-hyung, a ‘military outfielder’ who was acquired in exchange for pitcher Choi Won-tae. In the pitching staff, Jang Jae-young, who has shown potential for growth this season, is the ‘key player’. In addition, Kiwoom will be looking to build a foothold for the ‘next chance’ with five draft picks in the top three rounds of next season’s draft, acquired through trades and other means. This season, Kiwoom has sagged to the bottom of the standings after several plans went awry. The time has come for the team to find a new path, not only in terms of performance but also in terms of organization.

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