“Pitching in Korea helped me a lot” Another KBO big leaguer, former KIA Panoni
Left-handed pitcher Thomas Pannoni, 29, who spent last year as a substitute for the KIA Tigers in the KBO, has returned to the major leagues.
The Milwaukee Brewers called up Pannoni on Sept. 29 (KST) while demoting right-hander Peter Stzerecki to Triple-A. This marks his return to the major leagues after a four-year absence with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019.
Signed to a minor league contract by Milwaukee last December, Pannoni appeared in 11 games (9 starts-53⅓ innings) for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds this year, going 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 50 strikeouts.
Panoni spent four months in South Korean baseball last year. Making his KBO debut in July of last year as a substitute for KIA, Pannoni went 3-4 with a 2.72 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 14 games (82⅔ innings). With eight quality starts, he showed his reliability and helped KIA reach the top five. In Game 1 of the wild-card series against KT, he came on as the second pitcher in the third inning and pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief with two hits and one walk.
With a steady 2.6 strikeouts per nine innings and a mix of cutters and curves, Panoni is not a power pitcher; his fastball averaged 142.3 mph last year. Kia, wanting a more powerful pitcher, declined to re-sign him, and he returned to the United States.
His time in South Korea lasted only four months, but it was time well spent. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he said, “Pitching in Korea definitely helped me. I gained a lot of confidence in myself. I pitched a lot of innings, long innings, as a starter in Korea. I learned the importance of getting ahead, and that’s what I’ve been doing this season.”
He came to Milwaukee, made some technical adjustments, and got a big league call-up with a favorable grade. “It feels really good,” Panoni said. I haven’t been in the big leagues for three and a half years, so it’s amazing to get this call and get another chance,” he said. “I’m more prepared than I was when I was called up in the past. I’m four years older than I was then, and I’m a little more mature in my game and mentally.”안전놀이터
Originally selected by the Cleveland Indians (now the Guardians) in the ninth round, 261st overall, in the 2013 draft, Pannoni was traded in 2017 and made his major league debut with Toronto in 2018. He showed promise in his first year, going 4-1 with a 4.19 ERA in 12 games (6 starts-43 innings), but struggled the following year, going 3-6 with a 6.16 ERA in 37 games (7 starts-73 innings). He didn’t pitch in 2020 due to minor leagues being canceled due to COVID-19, and pitched in Triple-A for the Los Angeles Angels in 2021 and the Boston Red Sox last year.
He was one of the top candidates for KIA’s search for a new foreign pitcher. The team had considered him as a replacement for Adonis Medina, who was designated for assignment, but the call-up made it difficult to reunite with him because of his Korean experience. Milwaukee, which played six of its 17 games before the All-Star break, called up Panoni, who can pitch long innings, and will likely keep him at least through the first half of July 10. Until then, the Brewers can’t afford to wait. There’s also no guarantee that Panoni will be sent back down to the minors.