The local media in the United States gave an uncertain nuance regarding the return of Bae Ji-hwan (24, Pittsburgh Pirates), who is undergoing rehabilitation, in the second half. Can Pittsburgh’s new engine return to the ground with the start of the second half?

The Pittsburgh local press, the Pittsburgh Post Gadget, reported on the 12th (Korean time), “Bae Ji-hwan will be re-evaluated on the 14th (physical condition) to determine whether he can play baseball again.” 

Bae Ji-hwan suffered a left ankle injury on the 3rd and was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Bae Ji-hwan, who originally had a bad left ankle, was reported to have deteriorated while running to first base after hitting an infield grounder in a home game against the Milwaukee Brewers on the 2nd. Unlike the beginning of last May, when he recovered his condition with a break, this time he was put on the injured list and his name was removed from the roster altogether. It was the first time Bae Ji-hwan was on the injured list since his big league debut in September last year.

After concentrating on rehabilitation during the All-Star break, Bae Ji-hwan was expected to return to the home game against the San Francisco Giants on the 15th, the first game of the second half. He earned that much rehabilitation time by finishing the first half early, and it was reported that the degree of injury was not serious when he was listed on the injured list. 

However, it may take a little longer to return. The ‘Pittsburgh Post-Gadget’ said, “Bae Ji-hwan is expected to return to the San Francisco Giants over the weekend, but he needs to be reevaluated to see if he can play baseball again. In other words, his return does not appear to be imminent.” 

Bae Ji-hwan, a sophomore in the big leagues, had a batting average of 2.3, 2.3, 2 homers, 19 RBIs, 37 points and 20 stolen bases in 76 games in his first full-time season in his debut. After adapting in April, he posted a batting average of 3.4 and 4 in May, which was once called Pittsburgh’s new engine, and the defense also showed good performance in both infield and outfield. Meanwhile, he suffered an ankle injury and was unable to complete the first half with his teammates. 안전놀이터

Bae Ji-hwan succeeded in stealing his 20th base of the season in an expedition to Milwaukee on June 17, standing shoulder to shoulder with Major League All-Star Choo Shin-soo. Choo Shin-soo succeeded in stealing 20 bases in 2009 (21), 2010 (22), 2012 (21), and 2013 (20) while playing for the Cleveland Indians. In 10 years, the second Korean major leaguer to steal 20 bases was born. 

If Bae Ji-hwan adds three stolen bases, he can write a new history of stealing bases among Korean major leaguers. However, in June, the batting pace declined and the number of on-bases decreased sharply, and the number of stolen bases also remained at 20 for a month. 

It is noteworthy whether he will be able to overcome the ankle injury and set a new record beyond Choo Shin-soo in the second half. 

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