After coming back from the brink of retirement, Kim Jae-ho (38-Dusan Bears) has been given the green light for his 21st season in the KBO.
Kim played in 91 games this year, batting .283 with three home runs, 29 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage) of .748. The number of games played is small. This is because Kim Jae-ho lost out to a junior in the competition for the starting job at the beginning of the season. Doosan wanted to find a new starting shortstop at the beginning of the season to replace Kim Jae-ho, who has struggled over the past two years (batting .212 in two seasons) and is nearing retirement. A rotating group of 20-somethings including Lee Yoo-chan, Ahn Jae-seok, and Park Kye-beom were given the opportunity. Kim Jae-ho was in the running, but he wasn’t a priority. He played a lot of pinch-hitting and defense and didn’t perform well.토토사이트
Kim Jae-ho’s lack of success was due to a shoulder injury he suffered in 2017. Until 2016, he was the national shortstop and won the Golden Glove two years in a row, but his performance quickly declined after the shoulder injury. When his friend Oh Jae-won left the field last year, he hinted at retirement.
He hasn’t recovered from his injury, but he has made a comeback. In an interview with this magazine last summer, Kim Jae-ho said, “The ligaments and cartilage in my shoulder were all torn and broken. I’ve spent the last two years trying to figure out how to exercise without pain because the injury often worsens. “I thought, ‘If I can’t do it this year, I’ll retire,’ so I changed my approach,” he said. I chose to increase my weight training, and my shoulder has been strengthened and the pain has improved.” As a result, Kim became the centerpiece of Doosan’s batting lineup, hitting .370 over a three-month period this summer.
Now that he has regained his form, both he and the team are hoping to re-sign him. Kim Jae-ho said, “It’s not like I can say I want to play more. The team has to offer it to me. But I’m starting to enjoy baseball again,” he said. Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop also said, “If you look at his performance this year, there’s no reason not to sign him. It depends on how you feel about him, but Doosan needs him.”
If Kim stays, it’s not the end of the story. Even if he re-signs, it’s unlikely he’ll be around for long. The search for the next shortstop is still ongoing. Ahn Jae-seok, the most likely first-round pick, is enlisting in the military this winter. Lee Yoo-chan, Park Kye-beom, and Park Jun-young have not been able to find a spot. Coach Lee Seung-yup said, “Our young infielders need to surpass Kim Jae-ho to make the team stronger. Kim Jae-ho will also try to protect his position. We have to compete together.”