Doosan Bears veteran shortstop Kim Jae-ho was excluded from the first team entry for the first time since the start of this season. In an atmosphere where the outline of the starting shortstop is not properly visible at the beginning of the season, which player can wear the crown as the starting shortstop for the Bears?
Doosan decided to change the first team entry on May 5th. After infielder Kim Jae-ho and pitcher Kim Yoo-seong were canceled, pitchers Lee Hyung-beom and Park Jeong-soo were registered.
Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “Kim Yu-seong goes down to the 2nd team and prepares for the starting rotation. One beast should have been left out, but veteran Kim Jae-ho made the sacrifice. It was an inevitable choice in the direction our team should go in the future,” he explained the background of the entry change.
In a situation 메이저놀이터where pitcher reinforcement is needed, manager Lee made the decision to replace one fielder and add one more pitcher. Feeling the limits of the number of available bullpens in the game on the 4th, coach Lee called Lee Hyung-beom and Park Jeong-soo to the first team ahead of the Children’s Day series to reinforce the mound.
Kim Jae-ho played in 11 games this season and recorded a batting average of 0.143 / 2 hits / 2 RBIs / 2 walks. Although he eagerly prepared for the season from spring camp, Kim Jae-ho’s batting condition did not improve until the opening after the demonstration game. Even on the bench, there was no plan to give Kim Jae-ho a chance to play consistently. Lee Yu-chan took the opportunity to play as the starting shortstop from the start to April.
However, Lee Yu-chan played in 23 games this season, with a batting average of 0.185/ 10 hits/ 2 RBIs, failing to leave an impressive performance in batting. Moreover, he also created anxiety in the shortstop defense (5 errors). Recently, Ahn Jae-seok seemed to have a chance to become the starting shortstop again, but was canceled from the first team entry due to back pain.
In the end, Jeon Min-jae, who was the 0th shortstop call-up in the Future Team, was promoted to the first team. However, Jeon Min-jae also left a regret as he overlapped with 1 hit in 7 at-bats, 2 strikeouts and failure to steal bases in two games in which he started after being called up to the 1st team.
Until Ahn Jae-seok returns, Jeon Min-jae and Lee Yu-chan are expected to continue internal competition for a chance to play at shortstop. Coach Lee put Lee Yu-chan as the starting shortstop in the starting roster scheduled to play on the 5th. In a way, now is the time for Lee Yu-chan, who was picked by coach Lee as the starting shortstop from the beginning of the season, to show more convincing results.
However, if the starting shortstop cannot be found in May, the Doosan bench will fall into a more confusing situation. Until the end of the season, there is no choice but to look at the shortstop’s available resources, including Ahn Jae-seok, Lee Yu-chan, and Jeon Min-jae, as well as Kim Jae-ho, who will return on the premise of recovering his condition, and Park Joon-young, who is at the end of his rehabilitation.
Stabilizing the keystone combination is the basis for long-term race operation. It is so difficult to find a successor to Kim Jae-ho. Above all, according to coach Lee, Jae-ho Kim, who chose to sacrifice himself, needs to be given a proper opportunity to accept that this is the last page of his career. Who will be crowned the Bears’ starting shortstop this season?