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Former KBO MVP announces retirement

All Headlines 14:06 December 13, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- Yoon Suk-min, former MVP-winning pitcher in South Korean baseball, announced his retirement Friday at age 33.

The Kia Tigers in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said Yoon has decided to call it a career, with his long rehab from a shoulder injury stalled.

In this file photo from Oct. 12, 2018, Yoon Suk-min of the Kia Tigers pitches against the Lotte Giants in the top of the ninth inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

"I've been trying to return to the mound, but I am in a situation where I can no longer pitch," Yoon said in a statement released by the Tigers. "Rather than taking up a spot on the team during my rehab, I wanted to give younger players a chance."

Yoon was voted the regular season MVP in 2011, after winning the pitching Triple Crown with 17 wins, a 2.45 ERA and 178 strikeouts in 172 1/3 innings.

He signed with the Baltimore Orioles before the 2014 season but never made it to the majors, instead appearing in 23 games for their Triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides.

Yoon was drafted in the first round by the Tigers in 2005 and made his KBO debut that same year. He was both a starter and a closer during his 12-year career, and compiled a 77-75 record with 86 saves and a 3.29 ERA in 398 games.

After a season in the United States, Yoon rejoined the Tigers for 2015 and had a career-high 30 saves. But he was limited to just 16 games in 2016 and underwent a shoulder surgery, which forced him to miss the entire 2017 season.

Yoon pitched in 28 games in 2018, going 0-8 with 11 saves. His last KBO game came on Oct. 12, 2018, when he picked up a save against the Lotte Giants.

Yoon was also a member of the South Korean team that won the 2008 Olympic gold medal with a perfect 9-0 record. He also helped the country to gold at the 2010 Asian Games.

In this file photo from Nov. 7, 2011, Yoon Suk-min of the Kia Tigers holds up the trophy for the regular season MVP award in the Korea Baseball Organization at the annual awards ceremony in Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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