Not only are there three backup second basemen on the roster who can’t hit, but an outfielder is headed to the infield for the first time in four years. It was expected, but the absence of captain Kim Sun-bin (34-KIA Tigers) is more than imaginable.
On Tuesday, KIA added first baseman Hwang Dae-in (27) and infielder Choi Jeong-yong (27) to its roster ahead of a game against the LG Twins in Gwangju, and designated pitchers Yoon Jung-hyun (28) and Kim Ho-ryung (31) for assignment.
With Choi’s promotion, KIA now has four players on the first team roster who can play second base, including Park Chan-ho (28), Kim Kyu-sung (26), and Hong Jong-pyo (23). That’s five considering Kim Do-young (20), who usually plays shortstop and third base, can also play second base in desperate situations.
The aftermath of Kim’s injury. On August 8, KIA announced that captain Kim Sun-bin had been removed from the first team roster due to a hamstring injury. He is expected to return by the end of August at the earliest. This season, Kim was batting .299 with no home runs, 28 RBIs, 22 runs scored, a .366 on-base percentage, a .344 slugging percentage, and a .710 OPS in 71 games.
Both his hitting and defense aren’t where they were in his prime, but he’s irreplaceable for the KIA, at least for now. This is evident by looking at the performance of the three backup second basemen who have stepped up to fill his shoes. The best is Kim Kyu-sung, who is batting .209 (19-for-91) with a .569 OPS. He’s followed by Choi Jeong-yong, who is batting .077 (1-for-13), and Hong Jong-pyo, who is 0-for-3 and hasn’t had a hit this season. Combined, the three players have a combined batting average of just 0.187 (20-for-107).
As a result, outfielder Lee Chang-jin (32) made his first outfield appearance in four years on Sept. 9 against the Gwangju KIA. In the top of the seventh inning, with KIA trailing 0-3, Lee pinch-hit for the defense. Starting third baseman Kim Do-young moved to shortstop and shortstop Park Chan-ho moved to second base. Hong Jong-pyo was the backup, but the move was made to bolster both the offense and defense.
But a stopgap measure is a stopgap measure. In the top of the seventh inning, with runners on first and second, Lee couldn’t handle Jung Joo-hyun’s grounder. Kim Do-young, who was behind him, made a hasty throw to second base and scored the first run. Afterward, Kim Do-young and Lee Chang-jin made up for their mistakes by safely handling grounders, but in the ninth inning, with runners on first and second, even Park Chan-ho failed to reach home, and KIA had to accept a 2-6 loss.
The result created an inefficient situation in which only the second baseman’s resources were used to fill the three spots on the first team roster. This is a 180-degree departure from the saturated outfield with Lee Woo-sung (29) with a .296 batting average and Ko Jong-wook (34) with a .304 batting average as backups.메이저사이트
It’s a problem that wouldn’t exist if Ryu Ji-hyuk (29) had stayed, but for now, the infield of Kim Do-young at third base, Park Chan-ho at shortstop, and Kim Kyu-sung and Choi Jeong-yong at second base is the best in both offense and defense. The left field competition that began under Kim Jong-kook led to the discovery of All-Star outfielder Lee Woo-sung. With Kim Sun-bin out, the second base showcase is just beginning. Can KIA find the next Lee Woo-sung in the infield?