“I want to learn Korean as soon as possible.”
In the case of foreign players who adapt smoothly to the KBO league and run for a long time, there are many cases where they showed efforts and respect to adapt to Korean culture. SSG Landers’ new foreign pitcher, Kirk McCarty (28), deserves a passing grade in terms of such a mindset.
McCarty pitched in the bullpen at SSG Spring Camp, which started in Vero Beach, Florida, USA on the 1st. He joined on the 29th of last month and improved his condition. From his first bullpen pitch, he threw a ball at a maximum speed of 146 km per hour and announced his prepared physical condition. According to the SSG team, McCarty threw a total of 25 pitches that day, including 11 fastballs, 4 cutters, 3 curveballs, 2 sliders and 5 forkballs.
McCarty, who finished pitching, said, “Overall, I was satisfied with the condition and the feeling of my fingertips. The pitching mechanism and release point were as good as I thought. I raised it,” he said. 메이저사이트
What stood out in his impressions was his respect for the team’s franchise stars, such as Korean culture. McCarty said, “It’s been a while since I joined the team, but I feel good because the players and coaching staff all welcomed me. I knew Choo Shin-soo and Kim Gwang-hyun from before, but Kim Gwang-hyun was a left-handed pitcher, so I always respected him.” . He continued, “I will try to start the season in perfect shape without getting hurt during the spring camp. I also want to learn Korean as soon as possible.”
It’s common for foreign players to express their anticipation of experiencing a new culture, but it’s another thing to directly show their desire to learn a language or respect for their players. Considering that the first step to understanding a different culture begins with learning the language of that country, when he joined the team, he said, “I want to start living in Korea as soon as possible and experience a new culture.”
On December 8, last year, SSG officially announced that it had signed a contract with left-hander McCarty for a total of $775,000 (annual salary of 600,000, option of $175,000). McCarty, who entered the 2017 Major League Baseball draft with the 222nd overall pick in the 7th round of the 2017 draft, was called up to the big leagues in 2022 and recorded an average ERA of 4.54 in 13 games, 4 wins, 3 losses, and 26 strikeouts in 37⅔ innings. His speed was mediocre at an average of 148 km in the major leagues, but his walks per 9 innings were stable at 3.2. SSG explained the background, saying, “We decided to recruit this time because we judged that he had an advantage in timing matches with batters with his excellent control ability and aggressive pitching.”
McCarty draws attention from the start in that he replaces Sean Morimando (31, Central Brothers), who played an active role as an ace in the second half of last year, with the same sophisticated control as a weapon. As a substitute foreign player for Ivan Nova (36), Morimando played a big role with an average ERA of 1.67 in 12 games, 7 wins and 1 loss, leading SSG to win the regular season wire-to-wire and win the Korean Series. In a phone call with Star News after McCarty was recruited, SSG general manager Kim Seong-yong explained, “As a command pitcher, he pitches more stably than Eni Romero (32). In that respect, I highly praised him and expect a more stable performance than Morimando.”
On-site reviews are also positive. Pitching coach Jo Woong-cheon, who watched the pitching, said, “It was the beginning of the camp, but I felt that the power of the fastball was good. I received the image of an in-place pitcher,” he said.