A 34-year-old ‘core veteran’ excludes 2G consecutive starting lineups… Why did the head coach reveal it himself?

Core hitter Park Kun-woo (34) of the NC Dinos has been excluded from the starting lineup for two consecutive games. The head coach said, “We need more rest for now.”스포츠토토

The NC Dinos had a big loss of 4-11 against the LG Twins in an away game of the 2024 SOL Bank KBO League held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Tuesday. After losing on the day, the NC Dinos ranked fourth in the league with 27 wins, 22 losses, and one draw. It had a gap of two games with the league’s leader, Kia, and a gap of 0.5 with the fifth-ranked LG.

On this day, NC formed the starting lineup in the order of Son Ah-seop (right fielder), Choi Jung-won (second baseman), Kwon Hee-dong (left fielder), Matt Davison (designated hitter), Oh Young-soo (first baseman), Kim Sung-wook (middle fielder), Kim Joo-won (striker), Kim Hyung-joon (pitch), and Do Tae-hoon (third baseman).

What caught the eye was the exclusion of “veteran” Park Kun-woo. In 46 games this season, Park had a batting average of 0.323 (54 hits in 167 at-bats), 12 doubles, one triple, three homers, 25 RBIs, 30 runs and two steals (0 failure), 22 walks, 32 strikeouts, a slugging percentage of 0.461, on-base percentage of 0.403, and an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 0.864. His batting average was 0.345.

It may be considered unusual that Park Kun-woo was absent from the starting list for two consecutive games instead of one game. In response, NC manager Kang In-kwon said of Park Kun-woo ahead of the match against LG in Jamsil on the 24th, “My condition is a little down, so I think I have to wait and see.”

In the end, he is not sluggish enough to go to the second division, but it is interpreted that the head coach gave him a special break because he judged that he was in poor condition recently.

In fact, Park Kun-woo has a batting average of only 0.225 in the last 10 games. In particular, he had no hits in four at-bats against KIA on the 19th and no hits in four at-bats against Kiwoom on the 21st, before recording only one hit in five at-bats against Kiwoom on the 22nd.

Even ahead of the match against Kiwoom in Gocheok on the 23rd, coach Kang said, “Park Kun-woo seems to have run too far. His fatigue is high, and his batting balance is disorganized,” adding, “I thought he needed a break because his back seemed uncomfortable.”

And in the game on the 24th, Park Kun-woo took a complete rest without a substitute trip in the second half. If NC played a close game in the game on this day, there was a possibility that he could be deployed as a substitute in the second half of the game. However, the gap widened from the beginning, and he took a break without a substitute trip.

Anyway, Park Kun-woo is a veteran who should play an important role in NC. Coincidentally, all of his teams lost in two games without Park. With NC having a showdown with LG at Jamsil Stadium at 2 p.m. on Saturday (NC starting pitcher Lee Yong-joon and LG starting pitcher Son Joo-young), will Park be able to make his name on the starting lineup.

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