Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho has been batting second since the team’s first game against Lotte in Daejeon on April 16. “It’s the era of Aaron Judge (New York Yankees) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels) batting second,” he said, making a major league-style argument for a strong second baseman, but it was actually more of a painful decision.
Choi Won-ho said, “Our offense kept breaking down at the top of the order. We have Jung Eun-won, Noh Si-hwan, Chae Eun-sung, and Kim In-hwan in the batting order, and if it doesn’t work out, it’s hard to score a lot of runs,” Choi said, adding that the team’s weak batting lineup was one of the ways to boost its expected runs.
However, by the middle of this month, Noh’s batting pace had slowed down after his explosive start. He batted second for four consecutive games until the Jamsil LG Electronics game on the 19th, but was silent for 15 at-bats with no hits except for one walk. On the 20th, he returned to the three or four spot in the batting order, but no hits came. From his fourth at-bat in the seventh inning against SSG in Munhak on the 13th to Jamsil LG Electronics on the 21st, he fell into a sudden slump, going hitless in 35 consecutive at-bats (31 hits, no walks and four strikeouts). 토토사이트
Han’s batting woes deepened as the Noh Si-hwan card didn’t work. This year, Hanwha is batting just 1-for-6 (27 for 163) in the second spot. That’s lower than their batting average in the ninth spot (.177), which is where their weakest hitters bat. In the league as a whole, it’s more than a full point lower than the second-best SSG (.337) and more than five points lower than the ninth-best Doosan (.222). They also rank 10th in slugging percentage at .257.
It’s painful to see Jung Eun-won, who was a staple in the No. 2 spot under former manager Carlos Suvero, struggle in that batting order with a .211 batting average and 3.1 OPS. With the No. 1 spot unclear, Jeong has moved up to leadoff and is slowly finding his groove, but the No. 2 batting order remains a problem.
This makes the loss of veteran outfielder Myung-ki Lee (36), who was acquired via sign-and-trade, all the more disappointing. Acquired from NC in February via sign-and-trade, Lee was brought in as a resource to add depth to Hanwha’s outfield, which had a lot of question marks. At the time, Subero said, “He was a player who impressed me as a number two hitter in NC,” and revealed plans to use him as a table-setter.
In 14 seasons in the first team since his debut in 2008, Lee has played 1022 games with a batting average of 3.6 (3587 hits, 1099 runs). With over 3000 at-bats, he ranks 18th on the all-time batting average list and 10th among active players. In particular, he has a career batting average of 32-for-9 and a 3-for-9 slugging percentage in the No. 2 spot. It was expected to be a customized card for Han, who ranked 10th in batting average (.219) and ninth in on-base percentage (.315) in the second spot last year.
However, Lee was sidelined by injury after just three games this year (10 at-bats, 2 hits, 1 walk). On March 7 against SSG in Daejeon, he suffered a major injury when he fractured the tip of his right fibula while stealing second base after batting in the fifth inning. He took the base first with his left foot, but his right back foot buckled under the acceleration, breaking his ankle. Lee underwent surgery the next day and is expected to spend four to five months in rehabilitation, with a possible return in late August at the earliest. For the second month in a row, Hanwha has been unable to overcome its weakness in the second spot in the batting order and has been wishing it had Lee Myung-ki.