Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates) has raised the possibility of entering the opening roster (26 players), which he set as his first goal in 2023.
Pittsburgh local media Trip Live reported on the 28th (Korean time), “The Pittsburgh club has organized the major league camp personnel to create opening roster positions for Bae Ji-hwan, Canaan Smith and Eunjiba.”
On this day, Pittsburgh sent Mark Mathias, infielders Drew Magee, Chris Owings, and pitcher Tyler Chatwood down to the minor leagues.
Currently, there are 32 players left in Pittsburgh Major League camp.
Trip Live analyzed, “It is a situation where only Bae Ji-hwan, Smith-Eunjiba, Connor Joe, backup catcher resources Jason DeLay, and Tyler Heine are fighting for the remaining four fielders.”
Bae Ji-hwan became the 26th Korean big leaguer since Park Chan-ho in 1994 by starting as the ninth batter and second baseman in a game against the Chicago Cubs held at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 24 last year.
Bae Ji-hwan, who spent full-time in the major league spring camp for the first time in his life this year, was on the verge of entering the opening roster with his quick feet and defensive ability to move in and out of the field.
Bae Ji-hwan started as the 8th hitter and second baseman in the American Professional Baseball Major League demonstration game against the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida on the 28th and moved to center field from the 7th inning.
He went 1-for-4 at the plate. 안전놀이터
Bae Ji-hwan, who was back with a fly ball to center fielder in the 3rd inning, a swing strikeout in the 4th inning, and a fly ball to the third baseman in the 7th inning, hit Michael Boyle’s 151 km/h fastball in the last at-bat in the 9th inning and hit left-handed. He hit the ball well with a batted ball speed of 166 km/h.
Bae Ji-hwan maintained a batting average of 0.244 (11 hits in 45 at-bats) in the demonstration game.
Pittsburgh will play the opening game against the Cincinnati Reds on the 31st after playing the last exhibition game of the year against Minnesota on the 29th.
MLB.com predicted that Choi Ji-man would start as the first baseman to hit Pittsburgh’s 7th in the opening game. Choi Ji-man missed the demonstration game against Minnesota on the 28th.
Ha-seong Kim (San Diego Padres) finished the 2023 exhibition game with a batting average of 0.241 (7 hits in 29 bats).
Kim Ha-seong started as a third baseman in an exhibition game against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Stadium in Arizona, batting 8 and going 0-for-3.
His batting average in exhibition games plummeted as he went hitless in three straight games.
However, Ha-sung Kim’s position in the team is solid.
In the starting lineup for the San Diego Opening Day predicted by MLB.com, Kim Ha-seong was listed as the sixth batter and second baseman.
San Diego will play its opening game against the Colorado Rockies on the 31st.