LG Twins veteran Kim Hyun-soo, who has been in a serious slump, will get some time off.
“We plan to give Kim Hyun-soo about three to four games of rest,” LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop said after the team’s game against the Yalin NC Dinos in Jamsil on Thursday. Since it’s not a long period of time, he won’t be removed from the first-team roster, but will train with his first-team teammates to get his batting pace back up.
Kim Hyun-soo, who was batting 4 percent (32 hits in 80 at-bats) through April with a highly sensitive bat, looked different in May. He went hitless for 34 consecutive at-bats from May 3 against NC to May 17 against KT. His batting average in the month of May was 1-for-48 (12 hits in 81 at-bats), ranking last among the 52 players who had regular at-bats in May. His batting didn’t improve in June. He hit a two-run double in his first at-bat against Lotte on June 1, but didn’t get another hit in his next at-bat. He went hitless (one walk) in 16 consecutive at-bats until the Jamsil NC game on June 4.
Against the NC on the 4th, Kim Hyun-soo came down to the 6th. But there was no rebound. He hit a fly to left field against Lee Jae-hak, a grounder in front of the third baseman, and a grounder in front of the second baseman against Kim Young-gyu with runners on first and third in the bottom of the seventh inning after falling behind 0-3, but he struck out swinging against NC’s Kim Si-hoon with runners on first and second in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Yoon has been using Kim steadily in hopes that he can shake off his slump. Kim Hyun-soo tried to fight back by continuing to play.
However, when LG was swept in a three-game series against NC and the team was in crisis again, Yeom made a decision.
“I told Kim Hyun-soo to take a few games off, and he said he would,” Yeom said, adding, “In Kim Hyun-soo’s case, his swing is broken. He needs to find it again.”
As of the fifth, Kim’s batting stats are 2-for-55 with 45 runs (177 at-bats), one home run, and 25 RBIs. It’s certainly not a performance worthy of his name.
Kim made his only start off the bench on April 27 against the SSG Landers. Since then, he hasn’t missed a start. Despite his poor hitting, he tried to pick it up as he played, but his limitations showed.
He couldn’t overcome the opponent’s defensive shifts. When Kim comes up with the bases loaded, most teams put three infielders between first and second 안전놀이터 base and put the shortstop at shortstop. This leaves the third base side empty, but it’s not easy to hit there. A well-hit ball will almost always go straight to the outfielders. Even the pitches that I pushed were going straight to the shortstop or left field, so I was being too faithful to the data. On top of that, I haven’t been hitting well lately. Most of my pitches don’t feel like they’ve been hit, which means they’re not timed well at all.
With Kim Hyun-soo taking three or four games off, the designated hitter spot became vacant. Yoon plans to give players like Oh Ji-hwan, Moon Bo-kyung, Austin Dean, and others who haven’t had much rest a day at the plate to help them stay healthy. He also plans to give Kim Bum-seok, a high school rookie who just came up to the first team, a chance to start.
After going 2-4 last week, LG will face the Kiwoom Heroes in Gochuk and the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon this week.