First time priest, but no less affectionate.

Yeom Kyung-yup, the manager of the Korean baseball team LG, has made a decision. He’s giving Kim Hyun-soo, who joined the team in 2018 as a free agent signing and has quickly become the team’s leading star, a tune-up period. The veteran’s bat had gone cold.

In the opening month of April, Kim was on fire, batting .400 (32-for-80) with 17 RBIs. His monthly batting average earned him a spot in the April Most 먹튀검증 Valuable Player (MVP) voting. Unfortunately, the honor went to Na Kyun-ahn (Lotte), but his batting prowess was enough to keep LG smiling.

That momentum has since fizzled. In May, his batting average dropped to .148 (12 hits in 81 at-bats). At the beginning of the month, he went 34 at-bats without a hit. He finally broke the silence, but it wasn’t a turning point: he went 1-for-16 this month with a miserable .063 OPS. He’s been batting in the center of the order and getting plenty of chances, but since May, he’s batting just 0.138 (4-for-29, 7 RBI) with runners in scoring position.

In the end, Yeom made a choice. After the Jamsil NC game on April 4, the manager consulted with Kim Hyun-soo and decided to give him a break. The player himself was convinced. They agreed that it was a rare slump in his career and that he needed to take time to recharge his batteries and collect his thoughts.

“I gave Kim Hyun-soo a full rest without any substitute appearances to give him time to prepare,” said Yeom, who met with Kim before the game against Gochuk Kiwoom on June 6. He won’t play in the three-game series against Gochuk, and if it gets longer, I’m thinking about it for the whole week.”

He added, “Substituting him when he’s not feeling well won’t solve the problem. It’s just putting him in a more critical and difficult situation. We’re giving him time to get on a good path. It’s early in the season, so it’s possible.”

“The more you dig, the deeper you get into a hole. You start looking for problems where there aren’t any, and you end up changing your form. Then the season goes by. It’s my job and the job of the staff to make sure that the season doesn’t become a failure.”

He emphasized empathy with the player himself: “Hyun-soo is definitely in a position where I have to respect his wishes. If he wants to play, I have to take him out of the game. If I rested him 15 or 20 games ago, he might not have slumped to this extent, but there was a process of building trust. With Hyun-soo, it’s his first season, so we talked a lot. I think he can feel it now.” The coach’s determination to keep the veteran as a pillar of the team was evident.

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