Lotte Giants infielder Han Dong-hee, who returned to the first team stage after two weeks, was silent during the return match. He failed to continue the fierce sense of hitting that he showed in the Futures League.

Han Dong-hee started as a 6th hitter and 3rd baseman in the 14th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League Kiwoom Heroes held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 20th, striking out 2 in 4 at bats.

Han Dong-hee’s first team appearance was 14 days after the SSG Landers match on the 6th. After Han Dong-hee was canceled from the first team entry on the 7th, he focused on recovering the feeling of hitting that had fallen off the Future Steam until the day before.

Han Dong-hee was in the worst slump this season with a batting average of 0.217 (55 hits in 254 bats), 4 homers, 28 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.569 in 77 games with the first team. Lotte coach Larry Sutton instructed Han Dong-hee to ‘adjust’, and Han Dong-hee had time to reorganize in the second group for over 10 days.

For Han Dong-hee, the Futures League was narrow. From the Goyang (Kiwoom) Heroes match on the 9th to the Samsung Lions match on the 18th, the 2nd team waited for the call of the 1st team coaching staff, wielding 22 at-bats, 10 hits, 2 home runs, and a batting average of 0.455.

The situation in the first team of the Lotte infield was also needed by Han Dong-hee. Foreign hitter Nico Goodrum was not in 100% physical condition due to hamstring pain, and Noh Jin-hyeok was also unable to start as a starter due to poor physical condition. 

Coach Sutton called Han Dong-hee back to the first team on the 20th. As he has a good sense of hitting lately, he was immediately placed as the 6th hitter behind the center batting line and expected to play the role of a solver.

Coach Sutton said, “Han Dong-hee went through a good adjustment to the extent of hitting 10 hits in 22 at-bats in the 2nd team. His physical condition is also very good, so I called up today after considering various variables.” It is one of the proofs. I also heard that both left and right sides hit well.”안전놀이터

However, Han Dong-hee’s comeback was not satisfactory. Han Dong-hee withdrew with a ground ball to the second baseman in the first at-bat in the first inning with Lotte leading 1-0 from 1st and 3rd base with 2 outs. It was a good hit, but he swallowed regret as he headed straight for the fielder.

Han Dong-hee’s silence continued. He struck out in the top of the 3rd inning, grounded a ball in front of the pitcher in the top of the 5th inning, and struck out in the top of the 7th inning, failing to show the exciting batting ball the Lotte coaching staff expected. Han Dong-hee was eventually replaced with Lee Hak-ju at the start of defense at the end of the 7th inning, and his comeback match was completed.

While Han Dong-hee ended up with no hits, Lotte also suffered a come-from-behind defeat 6-7 and fell into a pit of three consecutive losses. Both Lotte and Han Dong-hee ended the week with a heavy heart and prepared for a three-week series match against the LG Twins next week. 

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