An emergency has struck the Lotte Giants, who are in the midst of a late-season standings battle. Starting catcher Yoo Kang-nam (31) has been removed from the first team roster due to injury.
Lotte removed Yoo Kang-nam from its first-team roster ahead of its 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League series against the KIA Tigers at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on Monday. Instead, the team called up catcher Lee Jung-geun, 24, to the first team.
Earlier in the day, Yoo Kang-nam started the game as the No. 6 designated hitter. In his first at-bat in the top of the second inning, he grounded out to second base, and in the top of the fourth inning, he flied out to right field. However, he felt discomfort in his left adductor muscle and was eventually replaced by pinch-hitter Lee Jung-hoon in the top of the sixth inning to end the game. Lotte manager Larry Sutton (53) explained his current condition, saying, “There’s a little damage to his side,” and “(the doctor’s opinion) is that it will take two to three weeks.”
The loss of their starting catcher is a blow to Lotte. After signing a four-year, 8 billion won ($7.8 million) free-agent contract prior to this season, he has appeared in 81 games this year, batting .226 with six home runs, 29 RBIs, and a .641 OPS. While he hasn’t been impressive at the plate, he’s been good at providing leadership and long-term framing to settle pitchers down. As much as he’s a presence, he leaves a lot of holes.온라인바카
For starters, Lotte added backup catcher Son Seong-bin (21) to the starting lineup and promoted Info Geun from the second team. After returning from the army this year, Sohn brings a strong shoulder to the pitching staff. “I think he’s going to have a lot of expectations personally because he’s getting more playing time,” Sutton said. “He’s been showing good form in the first team. I don’t think he’ll feel overwhelmed by the increased playing time.”