Choo Shin-soo (41‧SSG) was smiling when we met at the SSG Futures Field in Ganghwa. It was a smile we hadn’t seen much of from the 꽁머니 first team this season, and it was clear from his face that his rehabilitation and adjustment to the game were going relatively well.
Choo Shin-soo has struggled with injuries this season. His batting average dropped a bit early in the season as he adjusted to a new batting form, but there were periods when his on-base percentage was unusually high. This was enough to give me hope that Shin-Soo Choo will bounce back sooner rather than later. His batting average was still maintaining a good velocity, but that was interrupted by a series of foul pitches to his shins and ankles.
He explained that this was the first time he had ever been hit by a foul ball in that area of his body while playing baseball. In training, he would cover both his right ankle and shin. “One more hit and I’ll have to quit (baseball),” he joked, but you could also feel the extreme stress he was under.
He fought through the pain, but on May 12 against the Incheon Hanwha, it finally happened: He turned his right ankle while running to third base. He took a break from the game for a while and returned on May 19 against Sasik Lotte, but it didn’t feel like a normal hit. He went hitless in four games, from Lotte on May 20 to LG Electronics on May 25. Choo Shin-soo made a decision. He didn’t think he was in a condition to play in the first team.
He was sent down to the second team on May 27. He rehabilitated his injured ankle and reorganized his bat. After 16 years in the Major League Baseball, the best league in the world, Choo’s self-diagnosis was clear. His right ankle wasn’t functioning properly. Left-handed batters rely on their right foot for timing and support at the plate, and this right foot was not being supported properly. I couldn’t take a proper step or I would turn around. I couldn’t help it because it was hurting, and it threw everything off.
My priority was to get my ankle back to 100%. The offense did, the defense did. Choo Shin-soo underwent elbow surgery after the 2021 season. Tired of seeing other players struggle because of his dominance at the top of the order, he had elbow surgery so he could play defense at the age of 40. “My ankle had to be perfect to play defense this year, so I could go out and play. Everything was related to his ankle.
Fortunately, I recovered in a calm way. The veteran of the reversal didn’t need many at-bats. Once it was clear that his ankle was more than 80 percent healed and that he had no problems with his fielding and defense, the first team decided to call up Shin-Soo Choo, and he’s been proving his worth ever since. His class is alive and well, and his slump is finally showing that the injury had a big impact.
After returning to the first team against the Incheon Lotte on April 16, Shin-soo Choo immediately took his place in the leadoff spot and continued to excel. In that game, he had two hits, including a home run, and three walks. He reached base five times and drove in three runs. On the 17th, he had two more hits, including a double, and drove in three runs. On the 18th, he had one hit and a walk. He reached base 10 times in the three games.
Pitchers were still finding him tricky, and he remained calm 메이저놀이터 주소. In three games, Shin-Soo Choo saw 4.29 pitches per at-bat, making it difficult for pitchers. Even if he didn’t survive, he made it difficult for the pitchers, and he hit the ball hard. According to Trackman, which provides tracking data for all nine KBO clubs, Shin-Soo Choo averaged a bat speed of 145.4 kilometers per hour during the three-game series. He had fewer false swings and didn’t struggle with his changeup.
Through 19 days and 40 games, Shin-Soo Choo is batting .226 with a .380 on-base percentage. While his batting average and on-base percentage are down from previous years, his on-base function is still working well. His swing should improve once his ankle isn’t bothering him, and if it does, expect to see him draw more walks as opposing pitchers become more cautious. It’s a disappointing performance so far, but there’s still more than half of the season left. A healthy Shin-Soo Choo is still a must for the SSG.