The 24-man baseball roster for the Asian Games has been released, and there are mixed reactions from the 10 clubs. As the league continues during the Games, it could be a major factor in the end of the season.
The KBO has a policy of not suspending professional baseball during the Asian Games. Because of this, teams have tried to minimize the loss of strength by limiting the number of players on the roster to three. However, it’s a burden for each team’s key players to be away for an extended period of time at a crucial time in the season as the race for the top spot comes to a close. The national teams will convene in mid-September, with the baseball final at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Oct. 7.
The need for a pitcher who can play every game may be greater than the need for a bat who can reschedule his appearances. In that sense, Kiwoom, which sent three players to the national team, seems to be the most worried. Kiwoom will be without two of its key bats, Lee Jung-hoo and Kim Hye-sung, at once. Their combined WAR (wins above replacement) is 5.1. Only Hanwha’s Noh Si-hwan (3.02) has a higher WAR on this team. Kim Dong-heon, who started 41 games this season as Lee Ji-young’s backup catcher, will also wear the national team mask.
SSG and Lotte will also be battling for position without their two main players. SSG will be without shortstop Park Sung-seong and center fielder 먹튀검증 Choi Ji-hoon. Park Sung-sung has been a stalwart in the infield in 54 of the team’s 56 games through 10 days, while Choi Ji-hoon has played 44 games and is batting .289.
Lotte will have a big void in its domestic one-two punch. Park Se-woong and Na Kyun-an will be joining the national team. Park is 3-2 with a 3.17 ERA in 10 games this season, while Na has a 6-1 record with a 2.43 ERA in 12 games.
Doosan, on the other hand, is categorized as a team with relatively few losses, as only starter Kwak Bin will be wearing the Taeguk-mark. Doosan is the only one of the 10 clubs to send a player to the national team.
While Hanwha will lose some power, it will do them more good than harm as they have already slipped in the standings. A gold medal would mean more playing time for prized developmental players Moon Dong-ju and big man Roh Si-hwan.