Will the new version of ML ‘Sweeper’ work in Korea? The thought of a 5-year veteran outsider is “Hmm… well?”

 Kiwoom Heroes Eric Yokishi (34) revealed his thoughts on the ‘sweeper’, which has recently become a hot topic among pitchers. 

Recently, in the major leagues, the sweeper, which is an officially newly classified pitch this year, is receiving a lot of attention. It is a pitch that is in the limelight, centered on Japanese ace pitchers such as Shohei Ohtani (Angels) and Yu Darvish (San Diego).

Sweeper’s hot fever is also affecting Korea little by little. 메이저놀이터Kiwoom ace Ahn Woo-jin said in an interview on the 13th, “I want to throw a sweeper among the changing balls. It’s still not at a level that can be used during the game. I’m trying to practice, but it doesn’t work. It should fly like a slider and bend sideways, but it just falls like a bell. It doesn’t seem like a good fit for me.” 

Among Kiwoom pitchers, sweepers are becoming a hot topic every day. It was Eric Yoki, a veteran foreign pitcher, who introduced the sweeper grip to Kiwoom pitchers. Yokishi, who is in his 5th year in the KBO League this year, is a veteran starting pitcher with a career record of 52 wins, 33 losses and an ERA of 2.74 in 121 games (724⅔ innings). He has 1 win in 3 games (17 innings) this season and an earned run average of 4.24. 

Yokishi, who said, “I also studied the sweeper grip while watching Instagram,” said, “I usually look for interesting topics through Instagram. Some of them are helpful and some are not. The slider has a slightly shorter sideways curvature and falls vertically. On the other hand, the sweeper has a large horizontal movement, although it depends on the angle of the arm. I think it’s definitely different from sliders. If you look at the pitching data, there is a clear difference,” he explained about the sweeper. 

The sweeper is a pitch that has a lot of horizontal movement in which the ball moves laterally. According to Baseball Savant, an official major league statistics site, the sweeper shows a more lateral bending than the slider or curveball. 

Although new pitches are receiving a lot of attention, Yokishi was skeptical about whether the sweeper would be as effective in the KBO league as it was in the major leagues.

“In the major leagues, there are many batters who make big swings aiming for long hits. However, the KBO League is not like that,” Yokishi pointed out. That’s why the sweeper that bends horizontally can exert its power. However, in the KBO League, there are hitters who swing mainly for contact. For hitters like this, the sweeper can get caught on the bat and continue to foul.” 

“Last year, I threw a sweeper once or twice,” said Yokishi. I think pitchers with fast velocity would be effective. My feeling is that my elbows will be a little overworked, so I don’t have the desire to throw too much,” he said, saying that he has no intention of throwing a sweeper for the time being.

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