Professional baseball teams have entered ‘endurance mode’.
In the KBO League this season, injuries are on the rise before and after the opening. There are already four foreign pitchers (Eni Romero, Dylan Pyle, Taylor Widener, Birch Smith) excluded from the first team entry due to injury. Domestic players are no different. On the 3rd, KIA Tigers starting third baseman Kim Do-young was diagnosed with a fracture of the left metatarsal bone, making it difficult to play for 12-16 weeks. Lotte Giants Lee Min-seok voluntarily gave up due to elbow pain in the opening game. In the first examination, elbow ligament damage was found, and long-term departure is likely.
The same goes for LG Twins and KT Wiz, candidates for the ‘unanimous’ quarterfinals. LG and KT received the votes of all 7 commentators in the survey asking them to ‘choose candidates for the top 5’ conducted ahead of the opening of this magazine. It is evaluated that the pitching power is solid, but the injury has emerged as a variable. LG’s closer pitcher Woo-seok Ko is in the rehabilitation group due to inflammation of the supraspinatus muscle. The bullpen weakened as Ko Woo-seok, who won the title of salvation king last year, was eliminated. In the other lineup, infielders Son Ho-young and Lee Jae-won left with micro-damages to their hamstrings and left flank, respectively. In particular, the departure of Lee Jae-won, who was a promising player for director Yeom Kyung-yeop as a native giant, reduced the weight of the batting line. 안전놀이터
LG coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop said, “It seems that we will be able to play with the power we think it will be at the end of April. In early April, it is important to persevere even if it is difficult.” ) It didn’t come up perfectly,” he said. In LG, the physical condition of Jung Woo-young with left-handed Kim Yun-sik and sidearms, who participated in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), has not yet reached the right track. Go Woo-seok wore the Taegeuk mark in the WBC, but he felt pain in the practice game and returned to the team without being able to play at all.
It is not easy for KT to operate Pilseungjo normally. This is because key bullpen Kim Min-soo and Ju-kwon are undergoing rehabilitation. Kim Min-soo was diagnosed with a right shoulder supraspinatus tendon, and Ju Kwon was diagnosed with a right forearm muscle injury. Both players had to take a break for at least two months, so it took an emergency. Kim Min-soo appeared in 76 games last year and recorded an ERA of 1.90 in 30 holds. Sovereignty came from Hold King in 2020. KT is unable to play for 5-6 weeks due to a fractured left back even in the center fielder assigned to the starting lineup.
KT coach Lee Kang-cheol said, “We have to endure until the 7th inning,” and “After the 8th inning, there are two pitchers (Park Young-hyun and Kim Jae-yoon), so it is important how to go until the 7th inning.” If the starters are responsible for up to the 6th inning, the best scenario is to block the 7th with Lee Chae-ho and Shim Jae-min and leave the 8th and 9th to Park Young-hyeon and Kim Jae-yoon. To make matters worse, KT was excluded from the first team entry on the 4th due to a forearm injury, even native ace So Joon So.
In addition, Samsung Lions’ outfielder Kim Hyeon-joon (yugugol) and catcher Kim Jae-seong (inner oblique muscle), and Kiwoom Heroes’ Song Seong-moon (metacarpal bone) and Jeon Byeong-woo (lower back) are suffering from injuries. It is expected that Song Seong-moon will need about 10 weeks to return. As the injury virus spread to 10 clubs, ‘endurance’ at the beginning of the season became more important. A team official said, “It seems that there are a lot of injuries due to the influence of the WBC prior to the opening and the lack of training in the spring camp. It is not a small variable in the early ranking fight.”