Now let’s throw like a human.”
Doosan Bears right-handed pitcher Kim Kang-ryul (35) laughed when told that his recent performance was good. Kangryul Kim graduated from Gyeonggi High School and joined Doosan in 2007, now in his 16th year as a professional. He was famous as a fastball prospect since he was a rookie, but it took quite a while for him to become a first-team fixture due to problems with his pitch control. He began his career as a midfielder by pitching 89 innings in 70 games in 2017 and 76 innings in 65 games in 2018, and also recorded 21 saves as a closing pitcher in 2021. When he was around 30 years old, he shone as a player with plastic surgery, but both Achilles tendons were torn one after the other and he had to go to the operating table twice, so it took quite a while for him to complete his free agency registration days.
Kim Kang-ryul turned 35 this year and could qualify as a free agent for the first time in his life if he played one healthy season. However, he has had a hard time with pain in his left pelvis since the Australian spring camp. He took care of his body and threw the ball, but as a result of enduring his back pain, his shoulder also suffered. He missed 73 days of first-team entry because he was trying to keep his body healthy. Even if he played all the way to the end of the season, he had about 15 days left to register as a free agent, so the exercise of his lifetime free agent rights was postponed until next season.토토사이트
It is definitely not a good thing for a pitcher in his mid-30s to delay exercising his free agency rights by a year. Still, Kim Kang-ryul’s mind felt much more at ease. The results of preparing for the second half of the season by putting aside the pressure of the pre-FA season and paying more attention to taking care of his body showed in the results. In the first half of the year, he had only 1 hold, 4 innings, and an ERA of 13.50 in 6 games, but in the second half, he recorded 1 win, 2 holds, 15 innings, and an ERA of 2.40 in 16 games, becoming a completely different pitcher.
Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “Kim Kang-ryul has had a bit of a problem with his pelvis since the camp. He couldn’t start the season with his shoulder because he wasn’t feeling well. He continued to feel unwell, but these days his health is improving and his results are improving. He was originally a closing pitcher. “He is throwing a good ball, and he is a great help to the bullpen without (Park) Chi-guk. He is a pitcher who can do a good job behind the scenes as long as he is not sick.”
Doosan pitching coach Kwon Myeong-cheol, who has watched and managed Kim Kang-ryul from the side since the second team until now, had the same thoughts. Coach Kwon said, “When I moved from the 2nd team to the 1st team, I gave pitching coach Kim Sang-jin a mission: ‘(Kim) Kangryul should throw about 40 pitches.’ Kangryul was in a physical condition that could throw 40 pitches in the 2nd team. The intention was that he would be promoted to the first team as soon as he was able to do so. It took some time for him to find his balance because his shoulder was not good, but I think Kangryul has now regained almost all of his pitching ability when he was in good shape. In the end, I hope that as the eldest brother, he will be a source of strength to the pitching team. “We plan to continue to take care of Kang Ryul’s body and have him throw the ball as he is doing now.”
Looking back on this eventful season, Kim Kang-ryul confessed, “I think this year was the most difficult in baseball.” He said, “My time in the second team was difficult. I am older now, and it was an important season, but I was not feeling well from the start of camp. I tried to do something even though I was not feeling well, but the stress of not being well was a lot. At that time, coach Kwon Myeong-cheol And coach Kim Sang-jin was in the 2nd team, and I became a dependable person. Coach Kwon Myeong-cheol moved up to the 1st team, and when I also moved up to the 1st team, the coach knew my physical condition well, so he was considerate. I rarely played games. He said, “He adjusted my ability to go out, which is rare, and I think I gained my balance little by little. I think I got better after I cleared my mind and told myself to keep trying.”
It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t upset that the free agency season was lost, but I feel fortunate that I was able to help the team’s fight for the top five, even if it was belated. We will do our best until the end of the season to share the burden of juniors such as Hong Geon-hee, Kim Myung-shin, Jeong Cheol-won, and Park Chi-guk, who have worked hard since the first half of the season.
Kim Kang-ryul said, “On one hand, I feel fortunate (to survive in the second half of the year). I came out a little better than the worst situation I thought. I’m just trying to do well in the remaining games. Personally, I’m emptying my mind and thinking about preparing for next year again. Currently, there are no juniors in the pitching team who have been with me since they were young, and the only ones in their 30s are (Hong) Geon-hee and (Kim) Myung-shin. There is a big age gap with the juniors, but as a senior, you have to lead well and do well in the game. “The hardest thing was not being able to do it,” he said.
Doosan went on a 6-game winning streak and rose from 6th to 4th place. Kim Kang-ryul’s stable pitching is desperately needed in the remaining 23 games. Park Chi-guk is expected to overcome shoulder pain and join the first team soon, and Lee Young-ha and Choi Ji-gang’s pace has been good recently, so there is no immediate worry about Doosan’s back door.
Kim Kang-ryul said, “I think the come-from-behind win against SSG in Jamsil (on the 14th) was a big driving force in reviving the atmosphere. If we had lost then, I think the atmosphere would have calmed down. There is no tension within the team, and the atmosphere is good. Always in that atmosphere. “I think it’s because a lot of players have tried it. Now, my biggest wish is to finish the season well without getting hurt or missing out,” he said emphatically.