KIA stood at the center of the topic by agreeing to a one-on-one trade with Samsung on July 5. KIA, which was looking for a starting catcher, gave infield multiplayer Ryu Ji-hyeok to Samsung instead of recruiting veteran Kim Tae-gun.
Ryu Ji-hyeok was a precious resource. He was also the team’s starting third baseman right away, and with a fairly high on-base percentage, he also led off for a considerable period of time. He was a very important player on the team. However, the catcher problem was more urgent for KIA. KIA, which lost its main catcher Park Dong-won in the FA market last year, planned to fill the void with existing catchers such as Han Seung-taek, Joo Hyo-sang, and Shin Beom-soo, but things did not work out as intended due to sluggishness and injury.
In the end, a catcher was needed for a higher position, and he threw a winning move to recruit Kim Tae-gun, who had half a season left until the FA qualification. On the one hand, it was also a possible trade because it was judged that there was a player to fill Ryu Ji-hyuk’s vacancy.
KIA was in a situation where left-handed hitter Choi Won-joon joined the team after being discharged in June, and Kim Do-young, who was out of power due to a metatarsal fracture while running base in the opening series of Incheon this season, also returned at the end of the first half. Expectations for Kim Do-young are high for the club, fans, and the entire KBO league. He is such a huge talent. He is acclaimed as a shortstop who can achieve 20 home runs -20 stolen bases, or even more.
First of all, there was Park Chan-ho at the shortstop position, so if Ryu Ji-hyeok was sent, there was a clear plan to give Kim Do-young a spot at third base and let him gain experience. On the other hand, Kim Do-young recorded a batting average of 0.342, 2 home runs, 7 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.889 in 17 games until the 24th, proving that he has definitely become a more advanced player than last year.
However, KIA is nervous about unexpected injuries. Kim Do-young played as the starting second and third baseman in the game against NC (3-5 loss) held at Changwon NC Park on the 25th, but was injured in the last at-bat in the 9th inning. After two deaths, Kim Do-young, who played against Lee Yong-chan, was hit on the left ankle by a foul ball.
Right-handed hitters usually wear a brace on their left ankle and shin. This is because it is a very likely area where a foul hit ball can hit directly. Kim Do-young was also wearing a protector, but he was hit where there was no protector. Kim Do-yeong immediately collapsed on the ground and gave up the match after discussing with the trainer. He was not taken out on a stretcher, but went straight into the clubhouse.
A KIA official said, “I was hit on the left ankle by a hit ball and was replaced by Byun Woo-hyuk. He is currently undergoing icing treatment,” he said.
It is clear that the pain was quite great in that the player gave up the game in that situation. If the pain is tolerable, it is common to try to run. However, Kim Do-young seemed to have an intuition that batting in the current situation would only harm the team.
On the other hand, if the trainer’s initial diagnosis determines that it is not a big problem, there are cases where the progress after icing is observed. It may be for prevention and checkup for possible injuries, but anyway, going straight to the hospital for a checkup can also be a worry for fans waiting for news.
KIA struggled this year with only wild beast line injuries. Na Seong-beom, the key hitter, could not start the season at all, and Kim Do-young was injured in the opening series. Byun Woo-hyuk, Kim Sun-bin, and Hwang Dae-in also have injuries. However, it was evaluated that it was breathable because all the players except Hwang Dae-in returned, but if Kim Do-young, an important puzzle, is missing, steam leaks. It became a situation where I had to hope that it was not a big injury.