It is not wrong to say that Pittsburgh Pirates Choi Ji-man (32)’s major league career is a ‘platoon life’.
In particular, in the Tampa Bay Race of the previous team, he kept the bench without fail when the opponent selected a left-hander even though he was in good condition. Because of that, he has never filled the regulation at bat. Of course, the absence due to injury and surgery is the person’s fault, but even after reaching a certain position, if the appearance of the game changes depending on the situation, there is no less stress.
It is difficult to say that Choi Ji-man is a starting pitcher in Pittsburgh. Besides, the condition in April is not very good. However, on the 11th (hereafter Korean time), he started as a designated hitter against the Houston Astros at PNC Park, his home stadium, and hit his first home run of the season, providing an opportunity for a turnaround.
It was a solo shot in the middle of the second inning against Houston left-hander Framber Valdez. It has been three years since Choi Ji-man hit a home run against his left hand against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 26, 2020, when
he belonged to Tampa Bay. Shortstop O’Neill Cruz has been away for more than four months due to ankle surgery, but that is not a direct variable in Choi’s participation method or opportunity.
Pittsburgh brought in a lot of veteran players from the trade and free agency markets last winter. Choi Ji-man, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Santana, Austin Hedge, Rich Hill, and Vince Velasquez. When Choi Ji-man was traded from Tampa Bay, general manager Ben Sherington said “strengthen depth.” This means that he did not recruit Choi only to be the starting first baseman or designated hitter.
Choi Ji-man started in 6 of the 10 games the team had played so far. Five games as a designated hitter and one game as a first baseman. Of the remaining 4 matches, 1 match was a substitute and 3 matches were missed. The fact that he is not the main player is revealed as it is with the number of appearances. He is 8 at bats short of the required number of at-bats (31 at-bats).
On the other hand, McCutchen and Santana, both at the same position, entered 9 games – 37 plate appearances and 10 games – 43 plate appearances, respectively. McCutchen has a batting average of 0.333 (9 hits in 27 at-bats) with 1 home run and 3 RBIs, and Santana is batting 0.237 (9 hits in 38 at-bats) with 2 homers and 5 RBIs.
Both are not very good at hitting, but it is much better than Choi Ji-man, who hit 0.087 (2 hits in 23 at-bats). Summarizing the current situation of the three players, the first baseman is Santana, the designated hitter is McCutchen, and the backup of the two players is Choi Ji-man. Since they are veterans who need a break from time to time, it can be seen that three people are appointed across two positions. All three players participated on the day. Choi Ji-man was the designated hitter, McCutchen was the right fielder, and Santana was the first baseman.
Of the 10 games Pittsburgh played, the only time they faced a left-handed starter was against the Cincinnati Reds on the 2nd. At that time, Choi Ji-man was excluded from the selection, but appeared as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning. In the remaining 9 games, the opponents were all right-handers, and among them, Choi Ji-man missed 3 games. It is not yet decided how he will participate by considering the left and right types.
As a rebuilding team, Pittsburgh is adopting a depth-oriented method of appointing multiple players in various positions. Not only Choi Ji-man,메이저사이트 but also Bae Ji-hwan is playing multiple positions.
As of this day, there are five Pittsburgh players who have filled the required at bats: left fielder Brian Reynolds, designated hitter McCutchen, first baseman Santana, shortstop Cruz, and third baseman Ki Brian Hayes. Among them, Cruise was missing, so Rodolfo Castro, Bae Ji-hwan, and Mark Mathias, who came up from Triple A that day and started as second baseman, took turns watching the Keystone combination.
Anyway, it is encouraging that Choi Ji-man pulled off a home run against a left-hander that day. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a local media, commented, ‘Choi Ji-man hit left-hander Valdez with a home run, giving him more at-bats and opportunities.’