The KIA Tigers are struggling with poor hitting in the early stages.
The KIA lineup has played 11 games and has a number of offensive indicators such as team batting average (0.238), on-base percentage (0.310), slugging percentage (0.298), hits (88), doubles (10), home runs (4, tied for ninth place) They are in last place out of 10 clubs. Because of that, the team is in last place with 3 wins and 8 losses, even though the mound is holding up to some extent with an ERA of 4.25 (6th place). The game against Gocheok Kiwoom on the 16th, in which Ace Yang Hyeon-jong (35) lost 0-2 in 7 innings, 3 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts and no runs, was a game that showed KIA’s recent problems.
The current and future team’s present 메이저놀이터and future Na Seong-beom (34) and Kim Do-young (20)’s injury departure is often cited as the reason for the poor performance in the early stages. Na Seong-beom’s calves, which were not good since the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) held in March, became a problem. He missed the entire demonstration game, and as a result of a detailed examination, he was diagnosed with muscle damage in his left calf, so it is unclear whether he will return until at least mid-May.
Kim Do-young, who showed good performance in the demonstration game and took the starting third baseman, was diagnosed with a left metatarsal bone fracture on the way home from the match against SSG Landers on the 2nd. It is expected that it will take up to 16 weeks before his return, so it is virtually unclear whether he will return in the first half. For their quick return, KIA sent them to Ijima Rehabilitation Center in Yokohama, Japan on the 16th with the feeling of grabbing at least straw.
There is an expectation that the two will be better than now when they return, but even if they return and show good performance, it is still bittersweet. Na Seong-beom signed a six-year, 15 billion won free agent contract ahead of the 2022 season and joined from NC. Kim Do-young is a resource who joined as the first nomination for the 2022 rookie draft, and both were new faces that did not exist until the 2022 season.
The current KIA without them is not much different in terms of power composition from two years ago, when it ranked 9th for the first time in its founding. In the 2021 season, KIA failed to overcome the injury and sluggishness of main hitter Choi Hyung-woo (40), and showed the lowest offensive power in the league by ranking 9th in team batting average (0.248), on-base percentage (0.337), and 10th in slugging percentage (0.336) and home runs (66). .
The unfortunate thing is that Na Seong-beom and Kim Do-young and other players are not much different from two years ago. After winning the championship in 2017, KIA carried out several organizational reorganizations, paying attention to nurturing, attracting potential prospects through trade and draft, and preparing for rebuilding. However, the effect so far has been insignificant. The growth of some players who expected development has been stagnant, and prospects from outside are also not reaching their full potential.
KIA is aiming for its 11th championship by recruiting Na Seong-beom and reinstating Yang Hyeon-jong. Most of the teams that came close to winning were achieved when they were accompanied by the growth of their own prospects, not external recruits. Fortunately, the current indicator is not the point of finishing the season, but the point of digesting the 7% schedule. Due to the confusion in the early league, the gap with SSG in first place is not large at 4.5 games.
The two months without Na Seong-beom and Kim Do-young are definitely a period of patience and trials for KIA. However, it is also an opportunity for the remaining KIA players to show their improved side and refute the harsh criticism towards themselves. If you do not cling to the breakaway player and rebound only with your existing power, you can create greater synergy at the point of return. Fans are looking forward to the changed KIA players.