Park Chan-ho (28‧KIA), a potential Golden Glove candidate at shortstop this season, has seen his hustle play become a major obstacle to completing his season. A damaged finger ligament will keep him out of the starting lineup for the time being.
KIA head coach Kim Jong-kook revealed the news of Park’s injury ahead of the team’s upcoming match against Lotte at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on Wednesday. “Park Chan-ho has some damage (to his finger),” Kim said. To be precise, the ligament in his left fourth finger was damaged.
Park Chan-ho started as the No. 1 shortstop against Samsung in Daegu on Dec. 12, but injured his left hand while sliding head-first in the third at-bat of the fifth inning. It was a 3-2 pitch, and given Park’s quick feet, it looked like he could have made the play at first base. Samsung shortstop Lee Jae-hyun defended as best he could, and Park Chan-ho ran the bases as best he could.
However, Park Chan-ho’s will to live was too strong, and he made a head-first slide at the last second, injuring his left hand as he swept the base. Park felt pain and was subbed out of the game.
After returning to Gwangju, he underwent a medical examination at a designated hospital and was diagnosed with ligament damage to the fourth finger of his left hand. He won’t be able to hit for a while. But the good news is that it’s not bad enough to require surgery. “It’s not bad enough to have surgery, so I can play pinch-hitter or catcher,” Kim said, adding, “I’ll accompany the first team. However, starting is difficult for the time being.”
“It’s my left hand with a glove, so I don’t have any problems throwing. He can also run the bases if he wears protective gear. Kim believes that there is no one better than Chan-ho Park in the outfield or on the basepaths at this point in time. However, his hitting will have to wait for a while. The damaged ligaments need to recover.
While accompanying the first team, the training staff will keep a close eye on Park’s finger. “He’s still doing his fungo and running,” Kim explained. Still, Kim believes that the recovery process will take about three weeks. The plan is to continue to monitor the condition and take steps. He is expected to be out of the main lineup until the end of September due to his difficulty hitting.
It’s a huge blow for KIA. After showing improvement at the plate since last year, Park is now hitting .302 with three home runs, 48 RBIs, 64 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases in 115 games this season, which is well above league average. In her last 10 games, she has continued her hot hitting, batting .317. His energetic defense and baserunning are still there. After using Park Chan-ho as the leadoff hitter, KIA will now have to make a starting lineup without one of their key players.
It’s a shame for Park, too. Park Chan-ho was in contention for the Golden Glove at shortstop this year alongside LG’s Oh Ji-hwan. While Oh had a slightly better offensive percentage stat, there were some games that Oh missed that gave him a slight lead in the cumulative standings. But now he’s at a disadvantage because it’s harder to accumulate hitting stats.
Park Chan-ho’s replacement is Kim Do-young. In his second year, Kim has been a revelation on offense. In 55 games this season, he hit .302 with five home runs, 34 RBIs, 19 doubles, and an OPS of .828, making him the perfect fit at third base for KIA. He broke the metatarsal in his left foot in the season-opening series and underwent a lengthy rehabilitation, but he has been playing well since his return and is one of the top prospects in the KBO.토토사이트
Kim has the potential to hit for more power than Chan Ho Park, and it shows in other offensive metrics like OPS and wRC+. His stolen base ability is also on par with Chan Ho Park. However, his defense at shortstop is still unproven. The shortstop position has been Park’s since he joined the team, and Kim hasn’t seen much time at the position, even as a backup. He played shortstop in high school, but it’s unclear if he can replace Park’s defense.
The third base spot is also a concern without Kim Do-young. KIA will start Choi Jeong-yong at third base on the 13th. Park Chan-ho’s injury could lead to a cascade of team weaknesses. The team will have to find an alternative for two to three weeks. KIA’s batting order for the 13th is Kim Do-young (shortstop), Lee Woo-sung (right fielder), Na Sung-beom (designated hitter), Choi Hyung-woo (left fielder), Kim Sun-bin (second baseman), Socrates (center fielder), Hwang Dae-in (first baseman), Kim Tae-gun (catcher), and Choi Jeong-yong (third baseman). Yang Hyun-jong is the starter.