During the month of April, the NC Dinos, who had a difficult time due to injuries, came to the NC Dinos. Can NC rebound with the returning injured soldier?
NC made an entry change ahead of the game on the 5th. Outfielder Han Seok-hyeon (29) was canceled from the first team, and foreign hitter Jason Martin (28) was registered. It has been just one month since he went down to District 2 on the 6th of last month.
Martin was named in the starting lineup against Doosan in Jamsil on the 4th and 5th of last month, but was replaced at the beginning of the game two days in a row. This is because he felt discomfort in his right medial oblique muscle during his swing. In the end, he was diagnosed with micro damage, and he was expelled from the first group and went to rehabilitation.
Martin, who has steadily improved his physical condition, has been playing for the first time in a long time in the Futures League match against Lotte held at Masan Baseball Stadium on the 3rd. The next day, he went on defense and even hit a home run, completing his preparations for his comeback. And he suddenly came up to the first team ahead of the KIA and 3 consecutive weekend matches (May 5-7).
Martin told Star News ahead of his first-team call-up, “immediately after the injury, I exercised enough other parts without putting too much stress on the affected part (internal oblique muscle).” has been,” he said. He continued, “After returning, I hope the team can achieve better results with my help.”
On the previous day (4th), NC outfielder Kwon Hee-dong (33) joined the first team entry for the first time this season, and although the game was canceled due to rain, the starting lineup was named as the 5th batter and center fielder. Having signed a late FA (free agent) contract on February 27, he has been building his body in the 2nd Army.
Recently, he reported hits in 6 of 7 Futures games, and recorded multi-hits in 3 consecutive games from Samsung on the 27th of last month to Hanwha on the 30th, raising the sense of hitting. Even when Martin was injured, the NC did not call up Kwon Hee-dong, but in the end, he was called to the first team one month after the opening.
Both players are resources that can help the other line. Martin recorded 32 home runs in Triple-A last year, winning the Pacific Coast League home run king. It can help with the flexibility of the lineup while digesting all outfield positions. Although he was sluggish with a batting average of 0.120 in the demonstration game, he showed compliance with 2 hits and 1 home run in 8 at-bats in the opening two consecutive games with Samsung.
Kwon Hee-dong, who has been in the NC since 2013, is also a player who showed decent long-running power and pioneering. He hit double-digit home runs three times, and his career on-base percentage (0.353) is nearly 0.1 higher than his batting average (0.259). Like Martin, he can play any position in the outfield. Although last year, due to disciplinary action and injury for violating the Corona 19 quarantine rules, he played in 82 games and had a batting average of 0.227, but he can rebound sufficiently.
NC did not have a player to hold the center in the batting line during the month of April. By the 5th, the team’s home runs were 4th with 17, but the OPS was 0.690, lower 스포츠토토 than the league average (0.695). In particular, in the fourth batting order, only one home run (Martin) came out in 122 at bats. After Martin’s injury, six players, including Son Ah-seop (62 at-bats) and Park Geon-woo (17 at-bats), took turns in the 4th batting order, but none of them performed very well. In this situation, the return of foreign batters and veterans is only welcome.
In April, several NC players, including Kim Seong-wook (30), Park Se-hyeok (33), and Seo Ho-cheol (27), disappeared from the first team due to injuries and returned. In addition, foreign pitcher Taylor Widener (29) has not yet returned to the front line due to back pain. Despite the difficult situation, NC was tied for 5th place with 14 wins and 14 losses (0.500 win rate) as of the 5th. Coach Kang In-kwon (51) said, “The players did a really good job. I expected April (win-loss margin) -2, but it was thanks to the players’ efforts.”
Now, the long-awaited No. 4 hitter and veteran returned to NC, will they be able to hit a little more than before in May?