Hopes for a savior are turning to despair.

Lotte Giants foreign-born slugger Nico Goodrum’s slump seems to be getting deeper and deeper. Through 26 games, he’s batting just 2-for-5 (28 for 109) with 16 RBIs, no home runs, and an OPS of 0.640. In his last 10 games, he is 2-for-5 (9-for-40) with one home run and 10 strikeouts.

Lotte signed Goodrum to a one-year, $400,000 contract on March 11. The decision was made after existing foreign-born hitter Jack Rex was placed on the disabled list with a knee injury in June and spent more than a month rehabbing, but showed no signs of recovery. Lotte said the reason for the foreign replacement was to “rebound in the second half due to team circumstances.

Goodrum, who played 402 games in the big leagues, was regarded as a player with excellent athleticism. He was also seen as a good defender, and many within and outside of Lotte expected him to provide the same stability as Dixon Machado, who was dubbed the “defense fairy” in the 2020-2021 season. These expectations were raised when Goodrum showed good defense in his KBO debut.

However, there is a fatal problem with Goodrum. A hamstring problem that has plagued him since his days in the United States. Even last year, when he was a member of the Houston Astros, he struggled with a hamstring injury. The same problem has continued at Lotte. Goodrum was scratched from the starting lineup against Gochuk Kiwoom on the 18th, and then missed 19-20 days in a row. “It’s something we’re going to have to deal with throughout the season, so we have to take care of it for the rest of the season,” Lotte manager Larry Sutton said of Goodrum’s hamstring problem.

Against the Busan KT Wiz on Sept. 26, Goodrum committed three errors in a single game. In the top of the second inning, when Lotte led 1-0, Oh Yoon-seok singled to left field with runners on first and second, Goodrum, who was working the replay, cut and threw to third base to catch Alford, who overran the bag, but the ball rolled behind him and tied the game. In the top of the eighth inning, with Lotte leading 5-3, both runners reached base as the throw home was deflected. Lotte tied the game in the bottom of the eighth, but in the top of the ninth, with runners on second and third, Gudrum hit a grounder to third base that went just wide of home plate.

After Goodrum’s third error, SBS Sports commentator Kim Tae-hyung, who led the Doosan Bears to their seventh consecutive Korean Series, pointed out, “His legs don’t work, his left leg step, his right hand change, the beat is not right.” In the bottom of the ninth inning, when Lotte was down 6-8 to KT, and the image of Goodrum sitting on the bench was shown on the broadcast screen, he cautiously said, “I can’t tell you how to run the team,” and then added, “You have a lot of foreign players. If these players don’t work, it’s okay to change them. Just take them out of the starting lineup.”먹튀검증

The role of foreign batters is crucial to the batting lineup’s vitality. Goodrum’s importance is even greater now that Han Dong-hee, who is supposed to play third base in addition to being the center fielder, is struggling mightily. However, Goodrum has also been unable to overcome her struggles in the field. This is the reality of Lotte’s situation.

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