Doosan Bears catcher Yang Yang-ji is expected to miss this weekend’s series due to a shin injury sustained during the home sweep. The Bears have already felt Yang’s absence since May 26 against the SSG Landers in Jamsil, when they were swept 3-14. With the team’s heavy reliance on Yang-ji, injury prevention should be a priority rather than risky batting orders.

Yang has been hitting well of late. In his last 10 games, Yang is batting .419 with 13 hits, two home runs, six RBIs, five walks, and seven runs scored.

However, he’s also had some disappointing at-bats lately where he’s been thrown out at second base, especially on balls hit directly to the wall, as opposing hitters are aware of Yang’s slower base running and are making more challenging throws to second base. Yang is also more concerned about advancing to second base on long balls.

“I’ve been dying trying to get to second base lately. Even today, I hit a 120-meter ball and died, so I didn’t like it. Last weekend in Suwon, I used my head to jump from second base, but now my body doesn’t follow,” Yang said after the Jamsil Samsung Lions game on May 23.

Inevitably, as Yang has been batting third in the order since May, he has been getting on base more often and making important runs more often. In the game on the 24th, Yang led off the first inning with a walk, stole second, and raced home on Rojas’ single to right. With two outs, the third base coach’s arm went into overdrive, but the end result was the worst of both worlds: Yang Ji was out and Rojas suffered a shin injury.

Yang was immediately taken out of the game and was removed from the starting lineup for Game 25. In the bottom of the 10th inning of extra innings, Yang came in to pinch-hit for the leadoff batter and once again sprinted to second base. Luckily, it was ruled safe by a narrow margin. There was a good chance she could have stopped at first base due to the discomfort in her shin, but she made an instinctive sprint to help her team win.

With this one at-bat, Yang Ji made his presence felt. As it turned out, Yang’s double scored the tying run and set up Kim Jae-ho’s game-winning hit in the bottom of the 11th inning.

However, the home rush spell from the midweek series and the injuries that came with that situation made it difficult for Doosan to start Yang in this weekend’s series. The team hastily promoted Ahn Seung-han to the first team to create a “three-catcher system,” but filling Yang’s gap in the offense and defense is a very difficult task. As a result, Doosan is faced with the difficult situation of playing the weekend series without Yang.

Considering the importance of Yang’s power, it’s clear that he needs to be managed as a No. 3 hitter. He’s already been wearing the starting catcher’s mask an average of five times a week and has moved up to the third spot in the batting order, so the physical demands on his body are significant. Yang also traveled to the WBC team earlier this year. That’s a full season for an 87-year-old veteran catcher.

From a bench perspective, the Doosan bench will need to prepare for Yang’s health issues early on. Yang has 272 defensive innings at catcher this season, which ranks fourth in the league. His 34 games started at catcher are tied for second in the league with Lotte Giants catcher Yoo Kang-nam.메이저놀이터

The same goes for baserunning. In addition to collisions with opposing catchers, the potential for injury is high in the home stretch. Unless it’s a mid- or late-game situation where a single run is crucial, bench players should refrain from signing Yang Ji to run.

Yang Ji is the centerpiece of the team’s offense. Rather than gutting the goose that lays the golden eggs, we need to help him finish the season healthy so we can get the best out of him for the rest of his contract. Doosan fans would love to see Yang stay healthy and lead the Bears’ romanticized baseball for a long time.

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