I don’t want a 20-win Hector…Panoni? Sanchez? Quick signing is the way to go.
The KIA Tigers are in the early stages of signing a new foreign pitcher. Names are being thrown around, but nothing has been finalized yet. What we’re interested in is what he’ll bring to the table.
KIA has decided to release Adonis Medina (26). After a promising spring training, Medina went 2-6 with a 6.05 ERA in 12 games. His fastball, changeup, and innings-eating ability were all disappointing.
KIA narrowed down the list of foreign candidates to three. The first choice seems to be Thomas Pannoni (29), who played for KIA last year. He went 3-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 14 games as a substitute. He knows the KIA players well and doesn’t need to adjust to the KBO league and hitters.안전놀이터
However, Panoni just received a major league call-up from the Milwaukee Brewers. After pitching one game, he was designated for assignment. He’s waiting for another team to claim him. Ultimately, it will take time for the Brewers to sign Panoni. In the end, the Brewers regret not re-signing him after last season.
In the meantime, “CPBL Stats,” a website that focuses on Taiwanese baseball news, announced on its official Twitter account that the KIA Tigers have signed Mario Sanchez from the Tung Yi Lions of the Taiwanese Professional Baseball League.
Born in 1994, Sanchez is a right-hander from Venezuela with a physique of 185 centimeters and 75 kilograms. In 10 appearances this season, Sanchez went 8-1 with a 1.44 ERA. In 62⅔ innings, he walked 12 and struck out 42. In his 10-year career in the U.S. minor leagues, he is 44-34 with a 3.94 ERA.
However, while acknowledging that “he is one of the candidates,” KIA said that “the signing has not been finalized.”
Kia is running out of time. They need a pitcher to step into the starting rotation now. Even Lee Yi-ri is out to recharge, leaving two of the five starting spots open.
Without a starter, the team continues to lose the battle. They’re down to ninth place in the standings. They’re still 3.5 games out of fifth place, so there’s plenty of room to catch up. Whether it’s Panoni, Sanchez, or a third candidate, it’s going to have to come fast.
Kia hasn’t had an ace-level full-time foreigner since Hector Noesi (20 wins) led them to the 2017 title. Aaron Brooks was the ace in 2020 and 2021, but a family car accident followed by his own misbehavior kept him out full-time.
It’s hard to expect an ace-level performance from a new replacement. Last year’s Pannoni level was enough for me. Let’s see if KIA can quench that thirst.