“This edition is really scary.”
Those were the words of KT Wiz manager Lee Kang-chul, 57, as he reflected on his team’s long slump through May. KT, which sits in seventh place with 33 wins, 2 losses and 37 draws as of March 3, 1.5 games behind the fifth-place Doosan Bears (35 wins, 1 loss and 36 draws), was in last place (16 wins, 2 losses and 29 draws) until May. A series of injuries to key players was one of the reasons for the fall.
At the time, KT’s situation was dire. Kang Baek-ho, Park Byung-ho, Hwang Jae-gyun, and other key players such as Choi Jae-dae, Kim Min-hyuk, and Anthony Alford were on the injured list or out of the first team roster at least once. Injuries have plagued KT’s lineup this season, with not a single player appearing in every game. Even Kim Jun-tae, who served as a backup to the main lineup, went down with an injury, leaving the team with paper-thin depth.
The key to overcoming such a difficult period was the performance of the other substitutes. Lee describes their positions as “backups of backups.” “At the beginning of the season, we didn’t have any starters. The backup’s backup was playing, and once we got those guys out there (as starters), we saw a lot of baseball.”
Outfielders Ahn Chi-young and Jeong Jun-young are two examples. Ahn, who joined the team in 2017 and made just 26 appearances in his first-team career until last year, is batting .281 (16-for-57) with six RBIs in 24 games this season without a home run. Jung Jun-young, a second-round pick (20th overall) in this year’s rookie draft, is having an Altoran-like season, batting .292 (14-for-48) with six RBIs in 30 games without a home run. Their presence during a difficult time has bolstered the team’s depth.바카라사이트
“(Ahn) Chi-young is now a mainstay, and (Jung) Jun-young went down (to the second team) because there was no place for him, but he grew through trial and error,” Lee said. “The same goes for catcher Kang Hyun-woo. He just naturally came up and took the spot. It’s strange. This plate is really scary. The moment you think you need to take a break, you’re out of a spot,” he said. It’s a message of hope that if you seize the opportunity, you can grow quickly, but also a warning that if you become complacent, you will fall. There’s a reason why KT hasn’t fallen apart.