“We’ve been struggling since the beginning of the season.”
Lee’s struggles have been exacerbated by the fact that his hitting hasn’t shown any signs of improving. Kiwoom Heroes outfielder Lee Hyung-jong (34) was left off the first team roster for the first time this season.
Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki announced the news of Lee Hyung-jong’s exclusion before the team’s away game against the LG Twins in Jamsil on March 3, saying, “It’s a roster expungement for readjustment. I made the decision through an interview yesterday (Feb. 2). He has been struggling a lot since the beginning of the season because he hasn’t been able to achieve the results he expected and aimed for.”
Lee Hyung-jong became a Futures (second-tier) free agent before the season and moved to Kiwoom from LG for a four-year, 2 billion won deal. Through April, Lee had a decent season with a .264 batting average (24-for-91), one home run, and 11 RBIs in 23 games, but he struggled from May onward with a .204 batting average (40-for-196) in 64 games. His ability to work things out at the plate, batting .275 (22-for-80) with 27 RBIs and no home runs, kept him in the first team, but Hong decided he could no longer delay the readjustment. “(Lee) didn’t show any signs of struggle and got along well with his teammates, so we decided we couldn’t delay any longer,” Hong said.
There is no timetable for his return. “He doesn’t have a specific injury, so we’ll keep all possibilities open,” Hong said, adding, “I hope he comes back refreshed after talking a lot with the second team coaching staff, whether it’s technical or mental, and we shared those things during the interview.메이저놀이터
In Lee Hyung-jong’s absence, outfielder Ye Jin-won was added to the roster. Ye was selected in the second round (18th overall) of the 2018 KBO First-Year Player Draft and is known for his contact ability and outfield defense. He batted .169 (25-for-148) with one home run and 12 RBIs in 85 games in the first team, and has appeared in six games in the first team this season, batting .364 (11-for-4) with no home runs and three RBIs.