The manager’s frustration at having no choice but to bench the ‘genius hitter’ “The current state of the team… When Byeong-ho becomes first base…”
- on Sep 14, 2023
“Our team is not in a situation where we can afford it right now….”
KT Wiz’s genius hitter Kang Baek-ho has been playing only as a pinch hitter since returning to the first team. On the 8th, he came out as a pinch hitter against SSG Landers and hit a grand slam, but he still hasn’t gotten a chance to start. Since his return to the first team, he has gone 1-for-4 with a home run, 4 RBI, and 2 walks. In the match against SSG on the 12th, there was a tight pitching battle, so I didn’t even get a chance to pinch hit.
Kang Baek-ho, who played pitcher and catcher during his high school years, changed his defensive position to outfielder and first baseman after his professional debut. However, while he was praised as a ‘batting genius’, it is true that he did not receive much praise for his defense.
Recently, KT has Oh Yoon-seok starting as a first baseman, Bae Jeong-dae as a center fielder in the outfield, and Anthony Alford and Kim Min-hyuk as corner outfielders. In terms of defense alone, it cannot be said that Kang Baek-ho is better than these players.
For the team’s batting, it is better for Kang Baek-ho to start, but it is not easy to make a decision considering his defense. KT is a team that values defense more than offense because it is a team that wins by protecting rather than scoring a lot of points.스포츠토토
KT coach Lee Kang-cheol said, “I would like to have (Kang) Baekho play a lot because there is an Asian Games, but the situation is that the starting player must play now.” He added, “Our team does not have enough time. In situations where we are leading, we especially need to protect the player who can play defense. “It must be there,” he said.
Kang Baek-ho is used as a pinch hitter when a player is losing or needs to score. Coach Lee said, “When we are losing, we have to be aggressive, so there will be times when we have to use (Kang) Baekho as a pinch hitter.” In addition to Kang Baek-ho, KT also has other pinch hitters such as Moon Sang-cheol and Cho Yong-ho.
Manager Lee said, “The best thing is for Park Byeong-ho to play first base,” and “If (Park) Byeong-ho plays as first baseman, (Kang) Baek-ho or (Moon) Sang-cheol will play as designated hitter depending on the opposing pitcher. Then, the defense and “All attacks will be strengthened.” Park Byung-ho continues to play only as a designated hitter due to his calf condition, and is sometimes replaced during the game. Coach Lee said, “(Park) Byeong-ho’s condition is getting better, so won’t the day come when Baek-ho can also start as a starter?”
On this day, Kang Baek-ho appeared as a pinch hitter in place of 8th baseman Shin Bon-ki at 3rd base with 2 outs and 2 outs in the top of the 6th inning when the score was tied 2-2, but unfortunately he retired with a fly to center field. He was later replaced by second baseman Jang Jun-won.