KIA Tigers veteran infielder Kim Sun-bin (33) has announced his long-term departure due to a sudden injury. It is expected to be a significant loss to the batting lineup, especially as he is a sophisticated third baseman. It’s a hole that won’t be easy to fill. It will also be interesting to see if it will affect the process of qualifying for a second free agency.
In the Gwangju game against the NC Dinos on April 17, he severely injured his right thumb while playing second base and handling a hard hit by Jason Martin. After an X-ray examination, it was determined that a fracture was suspected. He will be examined again in Seoul on the 19th, but a fracture is inevitable.
The fracture will require at least four weeks of treatment and rehabilitation. It is likely that he will end the first half of the season early. Depending on the severity, his absence could be longer. For now, Kim’s injury means that KIA will be without their starting second baseman and third baseman. It’s not easy to find a replacement like Kim.안전놀이터
In the meantime, Kim Kyu-sung has been the main backup at second base. His defense is solid. However, he still needs to improve his batting. He hit two doubles in the 17th game, showing that he can hit. Alternatively, if Kim Do-young returns, he could move to third base and multi-infielder Ryu Ji-hyuk could move to second base. Ryu Ji-hyuk is also in doubt after hitting his foot on a sand dune.
Kim Sun-bin looks at a pitch after his at-bat./OSEN DB
Kim Sun-bin has been a steady performer as captain. Despite being slowed by an ankle injury in the early stages of the season, he is batting 3-for-2 with 18 RBIs, 18 runs scored, a 3-for-8 slugging percentage and a 0.736 OPS. He’s also been a crucial part of the offense with his precision hitting, and the team has lost a reliable third baseman for the time being.
Na Sung-beom and Kim Do-young, who have been out of the lineup since the opening day due to injuries, are expected to return to the Futures Series on the 20th. They were expected to return at least by the end of next week. With leadoff hitter Choi Won-jun back from military service and Na Sung-beom and Kim Do-young returning, the team could have been complete, but the absence of third baseman Kim Sun-bin thwarted their plans.
Kim will be eligible for free agency for the second time after this season. He signed his first free agent contract after the 2019 season for 4 years and 4.2 billion won. He has been steadily filling up his free agency years. Each year, he must spend more than 145 days in the first team. As of the 17th, he has 78 days, leaving 67 days to go. It seems that there is no problem in fulfilling the year, but it is a disappointing departure as it is linked to evaluations and grades.