“We have 28 players on the first team (in the KBO), but only 24 for the Asian Games. We only have four backups, so it’s difficult to manage the team (manager Ryu Jung-il).”
Tight rosters, almost daily games. Even the 12 noon ‘sunburn baseball’ raids. Baseball at the Asian Games is an ordeal. The head coach’s head is spinning.
Liu Zhong-il’s baseball team was in a precarious position at the Hangzhou Asian Games after losing to Chinese Taipei. The best case scenario would be a repeat of the Jakarta-Palembang Games four years ago, when the team swept the super rounds and advanced to the final.
That’s why Ryu fielded a full lineup against Thailand, a game that was sure to be a cold one, with the exception of catcher Kim Dong-heon and batsman Kim Joo-won. The emphasis was on improving the fielding skills of the players. The matches will get tougher and tougher until the Super Round against China on Saturday and the final. They can’t afford to take chances.
In that sense, I feel sorry for Choi Won-jun, who hasn’t played yet. Kim Joo-won, who had been used as a pinch hitter, was promoted to the starting lineup after hitting a home run. Kim Ji-chan proved his worth as a pinch-hitter. Among the pitchers, all players took the mound at least once, except for Kwak Bin, who complained of gallbladder symptoms.
Choi Won-jun had a less than stellar season with Sangmu and KIA, but he was not left off the final roster. The roster changes due to injuries were made one to two days before the final call-up, and the KBO later said that “injured players can be replaced until the end of September.
Ryu’s final roster was 24 players. Three of those spots changed. Unlike the Koo Chang-mo (Kim Young-gyu) and Lee Jeong-hoo (Kim Sung-yoon) changes, which went smoothly, the change from Lee Yi-ri to Yoon Dong-hee caused a stir in the baseball world. The KIA team responded by saying, “Lee Yi-ri is not an injured player.
In response, Ryu Jung-il said, “Lee Yi-ri is a starting pitcher, but his finger condition made it difficult for him to throw 70-80 pitches. The national team trainer checked it several times.”
However, Lee showed his mettle by throwing seven scoreless innings (77 pitches) against NC on September 27 and 5⅓ innings (108 pitches) against KT on October 3.
Obviously, the most sensitive person in any baseball organization to the performance of the national team is the head coach, and Ryu wanted to replace Lee, even saying that he “personally confirmed” it. Only injured players can replace the final roster for the Asian Games, which has already been announced.
The fact that Lee was replaced by Yoon Dong-hee, an outfielder, rather than a pitcher, also contributed to the controversy. If it had been another pitcher or his teammate Kim Do-young, who is also unavailable, it could have been a different story.스포츠토토
Ryu focused on strengthening the batting lineup and outfield rather than the mound. There are starting pitchers who can replace Lee, even if they are not necessarily lefties, so there is no outfielder to replace Yoon Dong-hee. This also explains why Kim Do-young wasn’t selected.
This brings us back to the final roster announcement. The roster with only three outfielders, including Choi Won-jun, was still a surprise. Ryu had even said, “I can play Kang Baek-ho in the outfield, and if necessary, I will utilize Kim Hye-sung or Kim Ji-chan in the outfield.”
The selection of Yoon Dong-hee as an extra outfielder was an acknowledgement that this option was too much. Luckily, Yoon has been able to handle the pressure and has responded to the coach’s call.
As it turns out, Choi Won-jun is currently out of action. He suffered a calf injury while training for the national team in late September. Coach Ryu Jung-il said, “He was hit by a ball on his left calf. It’s not comfortable for him to play right now, so he’s undergoing treatment.” He explained that his recovery is slower than expected at the time of the injury.
The national team is defined by its performance. Player selection is the prerogative of the head coach. Ryu’s choice has already proven its worth with Yoon Dong-hee. Now she just needs to prove herself with an Asian Games gold medal.