Technical support issues
It's a test, it's a test, it's a test, it's a lesson from two failures
Kia, which recently agreed on a contract with right-hander Will Crowe, is scrambling to fill the remaining foreign pitcher position. As a pitcher who was close to signing a contract was eliminated from the medical check-up, only Crowe's contract was announced. With the first spring camp scheduled to take place in Canberra, Australia in February, Kia plans to announce the remaining foreign players soon.
Kia seems to be making particular efforts to conduct medical tests in order to reinforce foreign players. It has recruited large hospitals in the U.S. to thoroughly verify not only basic checkups but also detailed items. After receiving the data, a designated hospital in Korea is conducting medical checkups again. Pitchers who were expected to announce their contract at the same time as Crow were also eliminated in the process.
Kia has replaced all foreign pitchers in the previous two seasons. It brought in Ronnie Williams and Sean Nolin ahead of the 2022 season, and Sean Anderson and Adonis Medina last year. The other three of them, except for Nolin, packed their bags before finishing the first half of the season. Nolin also came out injured about a month after the season opened and almost got replaced, focusing on rehabilitation for more than two months, but spent the second half of the season as Ronnie was kicked out first.
Ronnie and Nollin had a bad start from the beginning of the season due to injuries. Ronnie's problem of undermining the team's atmosphere was the decisive factor in his exit, but the crack began in the area where his start was not smooth due to injury. Had Nollin not rested for two months due to an injury, KIA's fate could have changed. Anderson and Medina replaced them due to league adaptation and skills problems, but their condition problems were also obstacles to their performance. Mario Sanchez, who joined Medina as a substitute for the team, also had a hard time in KIA when he left the team due to an elbow injury in late August, when the ranking fight was in full swing.
During the process of recruiting foreigners over the past two years, Kia has operated a double check system both in Korea and overseas. This time, Kia plans to closely monitor not only its current physical condition but also its past injury history to minimize possible variables during the next season. Based on lessons learned over the past two seasons, the verification seems to have become more sophisticated.
Although the contract period is over, it will not likely cause significant disruption to players joining the camp and performance. Not only domestic but also overseas players build their physical fitness through off-season personal training. In the U.S., players hire personal trainers and others to train in warm environments from early January regardless of contract status. The rest of the pitchers Kia is looking for will also likely have no problem joining the camp in February after signing the contract.
"Knock on the stone bridge before crossing." The process may seem frustrating, but it doesn't hurt to check. Saving the lessons learned from the previous failure can be a step toward future success. Attention is focusing on what choice KIA will make for the one spot it has left.
Tuesday, January 9, 2024