“I struggled a lot” Kiwoom’s Lee Hyung-jong washed out of the first team for the season

He’s batting .223 with three home runs and a .664 OPS this season.
Manager Hong Won-ki “needs to readjust”

The Kiwoom Heroes have made changes to their first team roster. Veteran Lee Hyung-jong (34) was removed from the first team roster for the first time this season.

Kiwoom will play an away game against the LG Twins of the 2023 Shinhan Bank Solar KBO League on March 3 at Jamsil Stadium.

Ahead of the game, Kiwoom removed outfielder Lee Hyung-jong from the first team roster and registered outfielder Ye Jin-won.

This year in a Kiwoom uniform, Lee Hyung-jong performed below expectations. In 87 games, he batted just .223 with three home runs, 32 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.664. Kiwoom’s lack of offense was especially painful for Lee Hyung-jong.

“I had a meeting with him (Lee Hyung-jong) yesterday, and he told me that he didn’t perform as well as he expected and aimed for,” said Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki before the game, explaining the reason behind the first-team expungement.

For the first time this year, Lee Hyung-jong will have time to adjust in the second team. Hong said, “There’s nothing particularly wrong with him. I need to readjust. I didn’t want to delay it any longer,” said Hong.

The day before, Kiwoom suffered a 3-6 loss to LG, snapping a four-game losing streak.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, starter Ahn Woo-jin gave up back-to-back singles to Oh Ji-hwan and Moon Bo-kyung before walking Park Dong-won on a wild pitch. After Ahn threw three consecutive pitches to Park to force him into a three-ball count, the Kiwoom bench opted for a walk.

However, Ahn walked the next batter, Park Hae-min, for a three-run triple over the right-field fence.

Hong said, “If you throw strikes on the three-ball, you can get a long hit. He didn’t have a good feel for the ball, but I thought he had a good chance of getting a strike up the middle on a three-ball. His pitch count was over 90. Park Hae-min had a high batting average against Ahn Woo-jin, but it was the best option for the flow. If it was a 3-ball-1 strike, it was the right call.”

Kiwoom will field a lineup of Lee Yong-kyu (designated hitter), Kim Hye-sung (shortstop), Ronnie Dawson (left fielder), Song Sung-moon (third baseman), Lee Joo-hyung (center fielder), Kim Woong-bin (first baseman), Kim Dong-heon (catcher), Ye Jin-won (right fielder), 한국야동 and Kim Tae-jin (second baseman) against LG on March 3. The starting pitcher is Ariel Hurtado.

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