Was it difficult to play the starting center infielder and table setter at the same time? Ha-seong Kim (28, San Diego Padres) is showing ‘abnormal signs’ at the end of the season.
Ha-seong Kim was not named in the starting lineup in the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) away game against the Oakland Athletics held at Ring Central Coliseum in Oakland, California, USA on the 18th (Korean time).
Originally, Ha-seong Kim was scheduled to start as the first hitter and second baseman in this game. However, just before the game started, the lineup suddenly changed, and San Diego sent Jurickson Profar as the first hitter and Matthew Batten as the second baseman to fill the void of Ha-seong Kim.
Ha-Seong Kim did not appear throughout the game. In particular, Ha-seong Kim did not even have to appear in the game as San Diego won 10-1 thanks to Soto’s multi-home run performance. Profar and Batton played the full 9 innings without replacement.
According to the American media outlet San Diego Union-Tribune, Ha-seong Kim was unable to come out due to abdominal pain of unknown cause. San Diego coach Bob Melvin explained through the media, “We conducted an examination, and no unusual findings such as appendicitis were found.” Director Melvin also said, “I’m not sure exactly what it was yet, but it doesn’t seem like anything serious. Maybe it was just pretending.”
Whatever it is, it is true that Kim Ha-seong’s current situation is not that good. As of September, Ha-seong Kim has appeared in 13 games and is recording a batting average of 0.167 (9 hits in 54 at-bats), 6 RBI, 7 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.417. He hasn’t hit a single extra-base hit longer than a double, and other than walks (6) and stolen bases, he doesn’t have any notable stats.
Ha-seong Kim, who has been running non-stop throughout the season, clearly looks tired. In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune on the 14th, he said, “It’s a really, really long (season). I’m grinding it out. So I’m just trying to stay fresh, play at a high level and do everything I can to help the team win.” “I’m working hard. It’s my job to maintain my physical strength,” he said.
Accordingly, the San Diego team also gave Kim Ha-seong a break and a chance to recharge. On the 13th, San Diego removed Ha-seong Kim from the starting lineup for the first time in 49 days. Previously, this was unusual in that players rarely had to rest even if they were injured while running a base or injured by kicking a water bottle in the dugout. However, the effect of rest is not yet apparent.
After entering the Major League in 2021, Ha-seong Kim has been running non-stop. In particular, last year, he played 1,263⅓ innings only as a shortstop, which exceeded his career high during the KBO League (1,209⅓ innings, 2015). As of the 18th this year, he is playing defense in 1,178⅓ innings, rotating between second base (795⅔ innings), third base (245⅓ innings), and shortstop (137⅓ innings). He could surpass last year’s record if he plays full time in the team’s remaining 12 games.토토사이트
In addition, Ha-seong Kim has mainly been the number one hitter since the game against San Francisco on June 23rd. He plays as a center infielder, which puts a lot of physical pressure on him, and he even appears at bat a lot. In addition, due to Kim Ha-seong’s style of playing without sparing his body in defense and base running, it is inevitable that he will use up a lot of stamina. In the end, all of these things overlap and lead to a recession.
Of course, despite these difficulties, Ha-seong Kim’s 2023 season is worth noting. In 143 games this year, he has a batting average of 0.265, 17 home runs, 58 RBIs, 81 runs, 36 stolen bases, an on-base percentage of 0.356, a slugging percentage of 0.407, and an OPS of 0.763. According to Baseball Reference, a baseball statistics site, WAR (Contribution to Wins Compared to Replacement Players) is 5.7, ranking 5th in the National League. FanGraphs also ranked 19th in the league with a rating of 4.4. That’s how Kim Ha-seong has become one of the league’s top players.
Amid the tight Major League schedule and many appearances in games, Ha-seong Kim’s performance is gradually declining. However, even this is something to learn from Kim Ha-seong, who is in his third year in the big league. It remains to be seen how Kim Ha-seong, who is playing full-time for two consecutive years, will manage his physical strength next season.