“978.9 billion infield, a symbol of SD’s decline”…US media criticises Kim Ha-Sung’s injury

“The four infielders, with a combined contract value of $738 million (about 9789 billion won), are a symbol of San Diego’s stagnation.”

US sports media outlet ‘The Athletic’ criticised the San Diego Padres’ infield on the 26th (KST), which is not performing up to its price tag. Manny Machado, Zander Bogaerts, Jake Cronenweth, and Ha-Sung Kim have all been unable to provide any power at the plate, which has prevented the team from rebounding. San Diego is now 23-27 on the season, slipping to fourth place in the National League West.

Kim went down in his first at-bat of the day against the Nationals in the second inning after being hit on the inside of his left knee by a foul pitch. He complained of excruciating pain immediately after the injury, which was feared to be long-term, but was diagnosed as a simple bruise after a medical examination. Kim is expected to return to the field on the 27th against the New York Yankees with just one day of rest.

Even while he was unable to play due to the injury, the Athletic described him as underperforming. “Kim has been performing well defensively, leading the majors in DRS (defensive runs saved), but his batting average is below the average for second basemen in the league,” the outlet noted.

Kim is batting .237 (36-for-152) with an OPS of .698, five home runs and 16 RBIs this season. There’s no denying that these are below-average numbers. However, he was on a roll in May. In 20 games in May, he hit .273 (18-for-66) with an OPS of .793, three home runs, and 10 RBIs, and defensively, he was one of the team’s most valuable contributors, holding down the hot corner in place of the injured Machado. That’s why San Diego manager Bob Melvin must have rushed out of the dugout as soon as Kim went down after being hit by a pitch and stayed by his side to check on him until he was off the field.스포츠토토

Actually, it’s the other three hitters that are more painful. Machado is on the disabled list (with a fractured left hand) after posting an OPS of just .654, according to the Athletic. Bogaerts has played well at shortstop, but is hitting just .179 in May. Cronenwirth also criticised him for not providing enough offensive support at first base.

Machado and Bogaerts are two of the highest-paid players in the majors. Machado signed an 11-year, $350 million extension with San Diego before this season, while Bogaerts became a free agent this year for 11 years and $280 million. Criticism of both players is inevitable.

The Athletics emphasised that while Kim and Bogaerts may be better defensively, backup infielder Lugned Odor is the better hitter at the moment. The same day in Washington, O’Dowd hit a come-from-behind three-run shot in the top of the ninth inning to end the team’s six-game losing streak.

O’Dowd is batting .316 with a 1.013 OPS in May and is 5-for-14 with 10 RBIs with runners in scoring position, according to the media outlet.

With Kim and Machado unable to play right away, O’Dowd is undoubtedly the No. 1 alternative in the infield. If O’Dowd continues to provide firepower at the plate while Kim gets back on track, Melvin may want to consider making some changes to the traditional outfield of Machado-Bogaerts-Kim-Ha Sung-Cronenwirth.

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