153.5 billion Lee Jung-hoo is out for the season

Lee Jung-hoo (26) of the San Francisco Giants will be out for the season due to arthroplasty on his left shoulder. The San Francisco Giants are agonizing over the issue of signing a six-year, 113 million-dollar free agent contract with Lee. However, his power ranking has rather increased, drawing attention. Why.

The official major league website MLB.com introduced this week’s power ranking on Tuesday (Korea Standard Time), putting San Francisco at 19th. The figure rose four notches from last week’s 23rd.

It was obvious why San Francisco fell from 17th place two weeks ago to 23rd place last week. MLB.com said at the time, “San Francisco received much praise for its aggressive performance this offseason. However, the FA players that we recruited then have not lived up to expectations. Matt Chapman only posted a batting average of 0.213 while Lee Jung-hoo was out due to his shoulder injury. Blake Snell had difficulties before going on the injured list.”

Last week, San Francisco faced an even bigger blow. Lee Jung-hoo met with Dr. Neal Elatrache, one of the experts in sports rehabilitation medicine, in Los Angeles on Thursday and confirmed the surgery on his left shoulder joint and sequin. It was a major surgery that would take at least six months to return to the surgery. “Lee will undergo surgery within the next two weeks. He needs about six months of rehabilitation process, and Lee will have a full recovery by January next year,” said Farhan Zaidi, president of San Francisco’s baseball division.

Due to the absence of the key center fielder from the season, the power ranking for this week could not have fallen further. However, MLB.com raised San Francisco’s power ranking, citing Snell’s return. MLB.com said, “Please watch San Francisco. There is only half a game left (one game at the end of the game on Tuesday) between San Francisco and the National League wild card teams. Snell’s return is imminent. Snell may show his old self. In his two rehabilitation appearances, he did not yield a single hit in nine innings.”

Snell was placed on the injured list due to left adductor muscle injury on April 24. He made rehab appearances for the San Francisco Giants at Single A on April 13 and Triple-A Sacramento Rivercats on April 18, and showed powerful pitching with 17 strikeouts and one walk without any hit during nine innings. Notably, he dominated the game with seven strikeouts and no outs in four innings, including a flawless innings in which he struck out three with nine balls. He also garnered five hits, one walk and 10 strikeouts in five innings of Triple-A, raising expectations.

It is not surprising that he paid more attention to improvement due to Snell’s return than to power loss due to Lee’s out for the season. Currently, San Francisco is ranked 10th in productivity in the league with wRC+ (adjusted scoring capacity) 103, so it was not a team that lacked offense capability. In addition, to be cool-headed, Lee Jung-hoo has not been of great help in his offense. In his first season in the Major League, Lee finished the first season with a batting average of 0.262 (38 hits in 145 at-bats), two homers, eight RBIs, 15 runs and two steals, and a on-base percentage of 0.310 with an on-base percentage of 0.331 OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.641, but his wRC+ was 89, which was below the league average (100) of the league.

Of course, there was a possibility of rebound in various detailed indicators such as batting speed. However, San Francisco only needed Snell’s return as its starting pitcher ranked 23rd (4.42) in the league.

Luis Matos (22), who replaced Lee Jung-hoo as center fielder, is also a cause for concern. Matos is a rookie who is drawing attention for his explosive attack power after Lee Jung-hoo went out for the season. He made three hits, two runs and six RBIs from five times at bat, including a three-run home run, on Saturday, spearheading San Francisco’s four-game winning streak, including a sweep against Colorado. According to MLB.com , his 11 RBIs over the past two days and 17 RBIs over the season are the most recorded by a San Francisco player in the first six games of this season since the RBI was officially counted in 1920. “He has amazing ability to produce RBIs. He seems to be chasing after all the balls,” San Francisco manager Bob Melvin said. MLB.com also praised him for reinvigorating San Francisco.

However, it is not a bad thing for Lee to become stronger in San Francisco without Lee Jung-hoo. Lee Jung-hoo, who returned in good health, could be the last piece of his bid for the championship.

The San Francisco Giants still have strong trust in Lee Jung-hoo, and its position is solid. “Lee has shown great performances this season. We saw a lot of good things about him, and I felt like he would continue to improve,” Zaidi said. “We expect that Lee will make a full recovery. I believe that he will come back in 2025 as a strong player after hard rehabilitation.”

Lee Jung-hoo also said, “I didn’t expect the rookie season to end like this. It could be the most disappointing season of my career,” but added, “I had the same surgery in 2018. I still remember performing well the year after the surgery. The past month and a half was the happiest moment in my baseball life. I will remember this and work hard for rehabilitation.”

BY: 토토

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