The Lotte Giants received some bad news ahead of the rainout of their 10th game of the season against the LG Twins at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on Sunday. Starting first baseman Ko Seung-min will not be able to play the remainder of the first half and start the second half.

The previous day against the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon, Go hit a grounder to second base with one out in the top of the fifth inning and sprinted to first base. Based on the timing and distance of the throw from Hanwha’s second baseman, Jung Eun-won, an out was likely, but Go Seung-min didn’t give up, running and attempting a head-first slide.

The result was an out, as expected, but the bigger problem was that Go Seung-min’s head-first slide led to an injury. On the morning of the 7th, he was examined at Good Samseon Hospital in Busan and was diagnosed with a partial tear of the medial ligament of his left thumb. He is expected to take four weeks to rehabilitate.

Go Seung-min has been Lotte’s starting first baseman this year. In 69 games, he batted .241 (52-for-216) with two home runs, 22 RBIs, seven doubles and an OPS of .688, which isn’t spectacular, but he’s been an indispensable part of the team. Against Hanwha on April 6, he went 1-for-3 with a home run, one RBI, and one run scored in Lotte’s win.

However, his attempted head-first slide to first base ended up being a major setback for both him and Lotte. Lotte will be without him for over a month, and Ko Seung-min will have to go through the process of getting his batting pace back up after rehabilitation.

Head-first sliding to first base is generally considered a high-risk play for injury. Most base running coaches will tell you that you have a better chance of being safe if you run the rest of the way to the base rather than attempt a risky slide from first base.

In the 2006 World Baseball Classic (WBC), “Legend” Kim Dong-ju injured his shoulder attempting a head-first slide to first base in the first game of the first round against Chinese Taipei and had to miss almost the entire 2006 season.

“Personally, I think it’s more of an injury risk to try a head-first slide from home plate than from first base,” said Lotte manager Larry Sutton, “and there’s a risk of collision (with the catcher) at home plate.”

“Whether it’s faster to run to the end or head-first slide in a close game at first base is up for debate,” he said, “but head-first sliding at first base is a natural reaction for an athlete. It’s instinctive because you want to get on base, you want to commit to your team, and you want to win.”

Of course, Ko’s departure is a big blow for Sutton’s team. Lotte is tied for fourth place with the NC Dinos, but only 1.5 games behind the sixth-place Kiwoom Heroes, 2.5 games behind the seventh-place KT Wiz, 3.5 games behind the eighth-place KIA Tigers, and four games behind the ninth-place Hanwha Eagles.

With the gap between them and the bottom half of the standings having shrunk significantly after a 9-16 June, the loss of Ko Seung-min for the remainder of the first half until early August has narrowed their infield options.먹튀검증

Sutton said, “Seung-min’s injury is unfortunate. He was doing his part in the offense,” Sutton said. “We have to get through this as a team. We have plenty of infield depth, so we called up Ji-Wan from the second team for his hitting.”

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts