“I think baseball is also a business. Every team tries to win, and if they need to replace foreigners to win, of course they do.”

LG Twins’ foreign pitcher Casey Kelly (34) 꽁머니 has been embroiled in rumors of his release throughout the season. It was natural that my grades were bad. In the KBO League, three foreign players account for a very large portion of the team’s power. It is no exaggeration to say that it is more than half. It is natural to leave the one-two punch and center hitter of the most important starting lineup to foreigners. Therefore, most players who fail to produce results within the first half pack their bags.

Kelly has been playing in an LG uniform for five years in this KBO league environment. He pitched in 134 games in five seasons with 65 wins (37 losses), recording 816 innings, 633 strikeouts, and a 3.13 ERA. It started with $1 million in 2019 and raised its ransom to $1.8 million in 2023. The total amount of contracts with LG over the past five years is 7.2 million dollars (about 9.1 billion won). No wonder expectations for Kelly are rising day by day.

This year, however, has been especially long-standing. In 20 games, he recorded only 7 wins and 6 losses, 119⅓ innings, and a 4.53 ERA. There have been several games that have collapsed, with only 11 quality starts. This is why LG, which is ranked first, needs to replace Kelly and build a more stable starting lineup in order to definitely challenge for the championship.

Despite endless rumors of Kelly’s release, LG’s general manager Cha Myung-seok and manager Yeom Kyung-yeop did not move. Both Cha and Yeom delivered a message that “we still believe” during the interview with Kelly.

Ahead of the match against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil on the 28th, Yeom said, “I continue to have hope. I hope you go back to the previous year’s Kelly. Kelly needs to do her part to get back to normal. “I’m desperate,” he said, hoping to pitch well.

Kelly pitched for the first time in the second half, which could be a stepping stone for a rebound. In seven innings, he pitched well with 101 pitches, 8 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts and 2 runs, taking his 7th win (6 losses) of the season. It was the first victory in 51 days since the Gocheok Kiwoom Heroes match on June 6. LG won 9-2 and won two consecutive games.

During the first half of the All-Star break, he adjusted curves and sliders that he didn’t like. Kelly threw 29 curves and 19 sliders, which went well offensively with 18 strikes and 16 sliders. Of the total 101 pitches, the overall control was so good that there were 72 strikes.

“It wasn’t a matter of straightforward restraint,” Kelly said. The slump in the first half was due to the lack of curve and slider control. He struggled because he couldn’t throw when he had to throw a strike and couldn’t pull out a swing. I feel better after fixing curves and sliders during the break. I’m satisfied because I think I’m getting better. In order to do well in the second half, I think it will be important to control the curve and slider, which are breaking balls, he said.

The endless rumors of replacement were accepted calmly. Kelly said, “I think baseball is a business. Every team tries to win. If foreigners need to be replaced to win, it is of course done. It is to try to do what the club has to do and go in a way that the team can win. I understand that point,” he said calmly.

Still, he expressed his gratitude to the club for showing faith. Kelly said, “I’ve played for five years, but what I’m most grateful for is throwing the ball with LG’s good teammates in a nice ballpark. The director and the general manager had a light meeting, but they always support me and say, “Go and do what you can.” “I am also grateful for your support that it will be okay to do so,” he said.

He tries to trust his ball until the end of the season. Then I believed that I could lift the trophy with the team.

Kelly said, “I believe in myself is the most important, and I think it’s the top solution. It’s true that the season isn’t going the way I want it to. The more so, I think there’s no other way than to exercise hard as I’ve been doing, prepare well for the game, and go out and throw the best I can. The composition of the team is really good and the atmosphere is good. It’s good that the players are playing baseball together for each other. do one’s best every time one goes to the baseball stadium “If you look at it, you will have reached where you want (to win),” he stressed.

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