Right-handed big bat Lee Jae-won, 24, who LG had high hopes for, has been scratched due to injury. LG coach Yeom Kyung-yeop, who had high hopes for Lee Jae-won, breathed a sigh of relief.
LG dropped Lee Jae-won and Lee Ji-gang from the first team ahead of the Incheon SSG game on Friday. Instead, Lee Ju-hyung and Lee Woo-chan were added to the first team. Lee Jae-won’s dismissal from the first team was devastating. Lee Jae-won played 메이저놀이터 against Incheon SSG on the 24th, but was substituted during the game due to a pull in his left thigh.
Initially, it was said that it was to protect the player during the game and there were no plans for a medical examination, but after the game, the pain continued and an MRI scan revealed micro-damage to the muscle.
Lee Jae-won hit a two-run shot in the second inning after falling behind 0-4. It was a 40-degree launch angle, and he showed off the power to get it over the fence, but then the injury happened. Lee had a rough start to the season due to a combination of side and back injuries. After rehabilitation, he made it to the first team and raised expectations by smashing a home run over 170 kilometers per hour, but injury got in the way again.
In 15 games with the first team this season, Lee was batting .270 with three home runs, 10 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.925. While LG’s outfield depth is good, the loss of power is painful because Jae-won has a unique advantage. The team’s plan to develop Lee into the next top four hitter also hit a snag.
“I think he pulled (the muscle) while chasing down a (foul) ball yesterday,” LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said, adding that the recovery could take more than two weeks, possibly as long as 20 days. Yeom’s season plans were also thrown off course.
Meanwhile, Lee Ju-hyung, who had been performing well in the Futures League, was signed to replace Lee Jae-won. Lee, LG’s second-round pick in 2020, is batting .352 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 24 games in the Futures League this year. He is a right-handed hitting infielder who can be utilized as a pinch hitter and pinch runner.
LG’s batting order for the Incheon SSG game on May 25 is Hong Chang-ki (right fielder), Moon Sung-joo (designated hitter), Kim Hyun-soo (left fielder), Austin (first baseman), Oh Ji-hwan (shortstop), Moon Bo-kyung (third baseman), Park Dong-won (catcher), Park Hae-min (center fielder), and Shin Min-jae (second baseman).
Lee Ji-gang’s spot on the roster will be filled by Lee Min-ho, who has recovered from an elbow injury. Lee Min-ho is scheduled to start on the 30th and is expected to throw around 80 pitches. If he pitches on Tuesday, he would normally start on Sunday, but Yeom said, “We’ll see how things go.”