바카라Seven for four. Shocker.
Noh Jin-hyuk, 34, was one of Lotte’s ambitious signings in free agency after last season. Lotte spent a total of 5 billion won over four years on Noh to solve their long-standing shortstop woes.
But recently, Noh has fallen into a deep, deep slump. His batting average in July was a shocking .074 (2-for-27). His season batting average has now plummeted to .245.
There were injuries earlier. Noh Jin-hyuk was dropped from the first team roster on the 15th of last month due to a left side injury and made his comeback on the 5th against Daejeon Hanwha.
He hasn’t been able to regain his batting touch since returning from injury. As a result, Lotte decided to leave Noh out of the starting line-up against Kiwoom in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 23rd.
Lotte manager Larry Sutton said before the game, “No Jin-hyuk is not starting. We checked the history of the opposing starting pitcher, and his recent form was also a factor in the decision. He hasn’t been hitting well lately,” he said, revealing the reason for leaving Noh out of the starting lineup.
“The opposing pitchers are throwing the same pitches as him, and he’s not able to cope with them,” Sutton said of Noh’s recent slump. The good news is that his defence hasn’t suffered. “He’s still playing solid defence,” Sutton said. He’s always working hard,” Sutton said.
With the addition of Noh Jin-hyuk, Lotte has been able to build a solid infield and make an unexpected start to the season. However, Lotte is now in a precarious position. After finishing the first half of the season with a five-win season, Lotte is still in fifth place, but with KT, KIA, Kiwoom, and Hanwha chasing them from the bottom of the standings, they are by no means safe.
The timing of Noh’s injury and subsequent slump coincides nicely with Lotte’s downward spiral, and it’s clear that Noh’s performance has had a huge impact on the team. We hope that Noh’s resurgence will come sooner rather than later so that Lotte can stabilise its power.
Still, there is hope. Noh came in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning and drew a walk to give the team a chance to close out the game. Will he be able to get a cool hit in his next at-bat?