The KT Wiz, who are threatening the two-way tandem of the LG Twins and SSG Landers, have hit another injury reef, this time with a player who was expected to be an ‘alternate starter’.
KT head coach Lee Kang-cheol announced that right-hander Kim Min-soo (31) will undergo surgery before the team’s game against the Doosan Bears in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Saturday.
Lee said, “Kim Min-soo broke his ankle and had surgery on the 14th. He was injured while running during training,” Lee said.
After going 4-2 with a 2.95 ERA in 56 appearances and 58 innings pitched in 2021, Min-soo became a specialty setup man last year with a 5-4 record, three saves and a 1.90 ERA in 30 appearances and 80⅔ innings pitched in 76 games.
This year, however, his struggles have continued. After injuring his right shoulder and missing the opening day roster, Kim was finally able to make his return on May 26 against the Samsung Lions at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu. However, he continued to struggle in June, posting an ERA of 11.37, and his season ERA jumped to 9.00 after the June 13 game against SSG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon. In 14 appearances this season, Kim has pitched 13 innings with no wins and a 6.92 ERA.
KT removed Kim Min-soo from the first-team roster on March 24, and he was preparing as a backup starter in the second team. After starting a Futures League game against the KIA Tigers at Iksan Stadium on March 3, Min-soo was on the verge of making the roster when he allowed three runs on four hits and one walk in two innings, but a sudden injury landed him on the operating table, forcing a change in KT’s plans.
“Kim Min-soo suffered a fracture in his left ankle (outer peach bone area) during a Future Team training session at Iksan Stadium on the 10th,” a KT official said. “He underwent successful surgery at an orthopedic clinic in Seoul on the 14th and is expected to take more than three months to return.” As a result, he is unlikely to pitch the rest of the season.
Lee had been struggling to find a replacement for right-handed set-up man Park Young-hyun, who will be called up to the national team for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games in September, with options including Kim Min-soo and Park Si-young. Park has been outstanding this year, pitching 55⅔ innings in 52 games with a 3-3 record, two saves, 23 holds and a 2.91 ERA. He is a key part of KT’s bullpen. However, Kim Min-soo is on the shelf and Park Si-young hasn’t been able to regain his form. Park underwent elbow surgery last year and has yet to make a first-team appearance this season.
How will KT fill the void left by Park’s departure from the national team? “I will tell you who will fill Park’s spot during the Asian Games,” said Lee Kang-cheol. I’m thinking a lot about it.”안전놀이터
It’s been a wild ride for KT, which has been on a tremendous upswing lately. After falling to the bottom of the standings and struggling to stay there, KT is now on a roll.