Yesterday’s catcher trade–Sanchez in the morning–Panoni in the afternoon—KIA’s super speedy offense.
Kia replaced two foreign pitchers in one day. It was a game-changer.
On June 6, KIA announced the signing of new foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez (29) in the morning, followed by left-hander Tomas Pannoni (29) in the afternoon. Sanchez signed for $280,000 and Pannoni for $350,000.
After releasing Adonis Medina on April 4 and acquiring Sanchez as his replacement, the Kia followed up with Pannoni, parting ways with longtime pitcher Shawn Anderson. Pannoni had been with the organization since the middle of last season and had shown signs of stability. After half a year, he’s back in a KIA uniform.먹튀검증
The process of replacing Anderson was quite urgent.
KIA sent a scout to the U.S. last month to look for a foreign pitcher, and at the end of June, general manager Shim Jae-hak traveled to the U.S. himself. Initially, only Medina was targeted for replacement, and the first choice was Panoni, but negotiations ended when Panoni was called up to the big leagues from Milwaukee on June 29. KIA then turned its attention to Sanchez, who was playing in the Taiwanese League, and eventually signed him.
In the meantime, Panoni was back on the market. Three days after being called up to the big leagues, he was designated for assignment and removed from the 40-man roster. With Pannoni expressing a desire to go to South Korea if not to the big leagues, KIA had to make a decision. They decided that Pannoni was more stable than Anderson.
“Anderson has a good balance and has pitched well in the last three games, but can he really play the role of a first starter when we can go up, and we judged him to be weak in that regard,” said Shim Jae-hak on June 6. “Currently, we have too many strikeouts. We have too few quality starts (6+ innings, 3 earned runs or less). We need more of a fastball pitcher than a reliever. Based on what we saw last season, we felt Panoni was the most reliable, and Sanchez is not a strikeout pitcher.”
In reality, Kia sees Pannoni as their number one starter. Pannoni joined the organization as a midseason replacement last season and went 3-4 with a 2.72 ERA in 82.2 innings pitched in 14 games. Describing himself as an aggressive pitcher, saying “I’m like a bulldog,” he endeared himself to the team in August with a 1.78 ERA in five games.
After the season, however, Panoni returned to the United States as KIA decided to go with an outfield duo of hard-throwing pitchers who could dominate with their fastballs. He appeared in one game for Milwaukee this year, posting a 6.75 ERA in 2.2 innings, and went 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 53.1 innings in 11 games at Triple-A.
Sanchez is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-hander from Venezuela. He spent 10 seasons in the U.S. minor leagues and this year played for the Tung Yi Lions of the Taiwan Baseball Organization. In 10 appearances, including nine starts, he went 8-1 with a 1.44 ERA in 62.2 innings pitched. In the U.S. minor leagues, he went 44-33 with a 3.94 ERA in 210 career games, including 77 starts.
KIA replaced both foreign pitchers in a single day after making a trade that sent infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk to Samsung for catcher Kim Tae-gun on May 5. “We needed a catcher who could take the lead,” said general manager Shim Jae-hak. Since the team decided to replace Anderson, which was not part of the original plan, the team immediately implemented the trade proposal from Samsung.
KIA is in ninth place with 31 wins, 1 loss and 38 draws through five days. Despite being in ninth place, they are only four games behind third-place Doosan, so they made the decision to move up just before the end of the first half.
Of the two new pitchers, Sanchez has already completed his medical test after arriving in the country on May 5 and is currently in Hampyeong waiting for his work visa to be issued. He is expected to pitch as early as next week during the final three-game series of the first half.