Was it really an injury?
The Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team has made another player change. On March 22, the team announced that it was replacing pitcher Lee Yi-ri. The team explained that Lee is recovering from an injury, but the team believes that he will not be able to perform at his best during the Games.
However, Lee, who the team noted was “recovering from an injury,” sprayed the ball on the mound a day earlier. Lee made his debut against Daejeon Hanwha on the 21st and pitched 1⅔ innings. Lee made his return after skipping the starting rotation on the 10th due to blisters on his fingers. If Lee was “recovering from an injury,” as the national team described it, there was no way he should have pitched that day, and KIA irresponsibly put a player on the mound who wasn’t fully recovered, much less on the national team for an international tournament. “There is nothing wrong with Lee’s physical condition. The blisters have healed,” the club said.
Against Hanwha, Lee left the mound early after giving up five runs (four earned) on two hits, three walks and three strikeouts while striking out five. It wasn’t pretty in terms of content. But Lee’s early departure on this day was geared toward pitch count control. “We’re only going to let him throw 30 to 40 pitches,” Kia manager Kim Jong-guk said before Lee’s appearance. It was his first start since returning from injury and he didn’t want to push him too hard before his upcoming national team call-up. Lee threw 45 pitches, more than Kim’s stated limit of 40, before heading to the bench. This is definitely not the look of a player whose finger hasn’t healed.
Ryu Jung-il, the national baseball team’s head coach, and Cho Kye-hyun, the chairman of the National Strength and Conditioning Committee, were on hand to watch Lee pitch. In addition to Lee, Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha) and Choi Won-jun (KIA), who are on the verge of joining the national team, were also in attendance, but the focus was on Lee’s pitching in his first start since returning from injury.
What to make of Lee’s substitution a day after the on-field inspection.
Looking back at the reasons given by the national team for the change, it seems that it was more of a “difficulty in performing at his best during the tournament” rather than an “injury recovery” reason. On the 21st, the team replaced Koo Chang-mo with Kim Young-gyu (NC), stating, “If it is determined that the performance of other players has decreased due to injury, we will closely examine their physical condition and make additional substitutions.” As a result, it seems that from the time of replacing Koo Chang-mo, the team left the possibility of replacing Lee Yi-ri open to some extent and started the final spot check.
In the meantime, even if a player selected to the national team shows a poor performance when an international tournament is imminent, ‘it is not possible to replace him due to poor performance, not injury’. However, in this case, poor performance seems to have played a decisive role. The national team chose to break its own rules.
It’s understandable that there’s a lot of pressure on a national team coach to get the best out of their players, and it’s a lot of pressure to play a card you’re not sure about. However, there is a question mark over whether it is right to announce a substitution at the last minute, just one day before a call-up, for a reason that does not fit the facts (injury).
For an athlete to be dropped just one day before a once-in-a-lifetime challenge is irreparable. KIA, which has been taking special care of Lee’s body in anticipation of the Asian Games, is also devastated.스포츠토토
This time, the national team decided to select three players for each team. LG (Go Woo-seok Moon Bo-kyung Jung Woo-young), NC (Kim Hyung-joon Kim Young-gyu Kim Joo-won), and Samsung (Kim Sung-yoon Kim Ji-chan Won Tae-in) have reached the threshold. The rest of the teams will need to find replacements. However, in the midst of the final standings battle, clubs are forced to make “sacrifices” when they suddenly have to release players a day before the call-up. The rationale for the substitution is lost in the process.