Lee Kang-cheol, the WBC national team coach, was put at a crossroads of choice. First baseman Choi Ji-man (Pittsburgh) should prepare for a situation where he does not participate in the tournament. Coach Lee Kang-cheol widened his options, saying that he could find alternatives even at positions other than first base.
On the 27th, head coach Lee Kang-cheol left for the United States to prepare for the spring camp of his team kt Wiz. As he is also the national team coach, questions about preparation for the WBC were not left out during his departure interview, and one of them was the question of whether or not Choi Ji-man would eventually join.
Choi Ji-man underwent an elbow bone fragment removal surgery last November. It is not an operation that requires a long time for his rehabilitation, but as the WBC will be held in March, his team may oppose it. In addition, salary adjustments are not over.
He was ready to come up with an alternative. Coach Lee Kang-cheol said, “There are many players who can be first basemen, including Kim Hyun-soo (LG), Park Hae-min (LG), and Choi Jeong (SSG). said.
Park Byeong-ho (kt), who will be the starting first baseman, is a clear card in the offense and defense. It is burdensome to entrust a 36-year-old veteran to the full-time start of the tournament to be held in mid-March. If a professional first baseman is selected as a substitute for the rotation, Oh Jae-il (Samsung) is likely to join. His first base defense is at the highest level in the league, and he has experience in international competitions. 메이저놀이터
The position with the lowest number is the outfielder. Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom), Na Seong-beom (KIA), Park Geon-woo (NC), Kim Hyun-soo, and Park Hae-min. However, manager Lee Kang-cheol said that he sees Kim Hyun-soo and Park Hae-min as reserve first basemen. Kim Hyun-soo played 5 games in 2021, and Park Hae-min played first baseman in 1 game last year and 4 games in 2021. In order to prepare for the situation where they go out as emergency first baseman, it is worth considering selecting a substitute player for another outfielder.
If you only look at the 50-person interest list, your eyes go to Choi Ji-hoon (SSG). Being able to take on all positions in the outfield, it can bring flexibility to field operations. He can also be used as a defensive reinforcement card, and he is quick on his feet. Last year, with a batting average of 0.304 in 144 games, he took a step forward in batting.
Choi Jeong is the only third baseman, but manager Lee Kang-cheol has already prepared an alternative. After confirming the final roster of the national team, he expected ‘shortstop Ha-seong Kim – second baseman Tommy Edman’ as the keystone combination, but explained that ‘third baseman Ha-seong Kim – shortstop Oh Ji-hwan – second baseman Edman’ was also a possible option.
Prior to Lee Kang-cheol’s decision, considering both the national team selection process and the composition of the squad, it can be seen that the replacement player candidates are quite compressed. Submission of the final roster for the national team is until the 7th of the following month.