The national baseball team is on high alert at the Hangzhou Asian Games in September. This is because outfielder Lee Jung-hoo, who will take the center stage of the national team, has been injured for a long time. Attention is also focusing on who should fill Lee Jung-hoo’s gap. 토토 Lotte Giants outfielder Yoon Dong-hee is also considered one of the alternatives.
Lee Jung-hoo started as the center fielder for the third batter against Lotte in Sajik on July 22 and was replaced due to pain in his left ankle during defense in the bottom of the eighth inning. As a result of a thorough examination on the 24th, he was diagnosed with an ankle injury surgery that required at least three months of rehabilitation.
The Kiwoom club said on the 24th, “As a result of detailed examinations such as MRI and X-ray at CM Hospital and Sejong Sports Orthopedic Surgery, he was diagnosed with damage to the left ankle extension area. The damage to the new zone is caused by damage to the membrane surrounding the ankle tendon, and suture surgery is needed for treatment, he said. “We plan to schedule surgery after additional examinations at Sejong Sports Orthopedic Surgery on the 25th.” The rehabilitation period after surgery takes about three months, and it can change depending on the speed of recovery,” he said, effectively announcing Lee Jung-hoo’s season-out.
Lee Jung-hoo played in 85 games this season, playing a key batter role with a batting average of 0.319/105 hits/6 home runs/45 RBIs. Lee Jung-hoo’s departure from a long-term injury is the biggest negative factor for the Kiwoom club, but it is also a fatal blow to the Asian Games national team. It has become virtually difficult for Lee Jung-hoo to join the Asian Games national team, which will be convened at the end of September. Attention is also focusing on who should fill Lee Jung-hoo’s vacancy when he plays the role of a leading candidate for the national team captain and a central batter. One of the leading candidates is Yoon Dong-hee.
Yoon Dong-hee has completely settled in the first division stage this season after playing in four games in the first division in the 2022 season, his first season. Yoon Dong-hee played in 60 games this season with a batting average of 0.308/65 hits/two home runs/23 RBIs/on-base percentage of 0.341/base percentage of 0.370. Recently, Yoon Dong-hee, who plays the leadoff role in the team’s batting lineup, is taking the lead in offense.
The outfielders of the Asian Games national team included Jihoon Choi (SSG Landers) and Choi Won-joon (KIA Tigers), including Lee Jung-hoo. Kang Baek-ho, who can work both inside and outside, can also be an outfield option. As a result, it is true that right-handed resources are insufficient among outfield resources. This is why right-handed hitter Yoon Dong-hee, who shows competitiveness on the first division stage, is emerging as a strong candidate.
Coach Sutton met with reporters before the match on July 26 and said, “First of all, the issue of Yoon Dong-hee’s selection for the Asian Games national team is a little bit of a problem at the end of my head. What accounts for the largest portion now is the picture of Yoon Dong-hee playing as a leadoff in Lotte. The team’s batting cycle has fallen and there is no typical first batter. Yoon Dong-hee continues to be placed in the first batting order as his batting average has improved recently as he has been on base well. He repeatedly praised, saying, “He has good bat control skills and plays his role well by showing a very mature play unlike his young age.”
Coach Sutton said, “The reason why I took off my hat now is that I want Yoon Dong-hee to be selected for the national team and represent the country if he is not Lotte Giants coach.” “It would be a great honor to be a member of the national team,” he stressed.
Sutton, who wore a Lotte hat again, said, “However, as Lotte manager again, our team is moving forward hard toward the postseason. From Lotte’s perspective, it is helpful for Yoon Dong-hee to remain on the team,” he said with a bitter smile.
From the Lotte team’s point of view, if Yoon Dong-hee joins the Asian Games national team as a substitute for Lee Jung-hoo, this is the best scenario because it can solve the military problem of key prospects. Of course, there are three players who have not completed the military because there are pitchers Park Se-woong and Na Kyun-an who have already been selected for the national team, but there is no need to exclude the option of selecting Yoon Dong-hee first because it is a special situation that occurred suddenly. Attention is focusing on what judgment the KBO Power Reinforcement Committee will make.