KIA Tigers foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez has successfully completed his final checkup before returning to action.
According to the KIA organization, Sanchez conducted a live pitching session at Hampyeong-KIA Challengers Field, the second team’s home stadium, on July 17. He threw two sets of 20 pitches per set, and his fastball average and maximum velocity were measured at 142 and 144 mph, respectively.
Sanchez threw the most fastballs and sweepers (over 11). Curves (seven), sliders (six), and changeups (five) followed. “He didn’t feel any pain or anything unusual after the pitch,” a KIA team official said. Sanchez is expected to make a relief appearance against the Hanwha Eagles at Daejeon Hanwha Life Eagles Park on April 21.
On the same day, KIA manager Kim Jong-kook said, “It’s not easy to throw so many pitches with so many objections (to his scheduled start on the 21st). It’s the same with Sanchez,” he said, adding, “I think we’ll have to adjust his pitch count and put him in the game.” The plan is for Sanchez to throw around 50 to 60 pitches in his first start, and given that it will be his first start since returning from injury, he won’t need to throw many innings.
Signed during the offseason as a replacement for Adonis Medina, Sanchez made his KBO debut on July 9 against the KT Wiz at KT Wiz Park in Suwon. Over time, Sanchez adapted to the KBO and became an integral part of the starting lineup. His record this season is 4-2 with a 5.28 ERA in eight games and 44⅓ innings pitched.토토사이트
However, Sanchez felt unwell after the Gwangju Hanwha game on March 25 and was diagnosed with a partial injury to the medial collateral ligament of his right elbow and symptoms of impingement syndrome after a medical examination. The rehabilitation was expected to take about three weeks, and the club and the player monitored his condition with a combination of injection treatments.
Sanchez, who was targeting a return before October, has made a quick recovery. He started playing catch last week and progressed to long tosses, and this week he threw bullpen pitches followed by live pitches. With Lee “Lefty Young-geon” Lee leaving for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team on March 23, Sanchez’s return to the first team will provide some breathing room for the KIA starting lineup.