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Last-place SK Wyverns lose top slugger to injury

All News 11:28 May 26, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- Things have gone from bad to worse for the last-place club in South Korean baseball this season.

The SK Wyverns said Tuesday their leading slugger Han Dong-min will be out six to eight weeks with a broken right tibia. Their starting second baseman Kim Chang-pyeong is also out with left shoulder issues.

Han, who is leading the Wyverns with six homers, good for second overall in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), fouled a pitch off his right leg during Sunday's game against the Kia Tigers.

In this file photo, from May 6, 2020, Han Dong-min of the SK Wyverns watches his two-run home run against the Hanwha Eagles in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Tests done immediately after the game showed no structural damage. But Han complained of severe pain Monday morning, and further tests revealed a small fracture.

Han's absence will leave a gaping hole in a lineup that has already been the worst in the KBO in batting average, runs scored and on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS).

With a .317/.368/.667 line, Han has been the lone bright spot for the 3-14 Wyverns, who lost 10 straight games earlier in the season. He was enjoying power resurgence after going from 41 home runs in 2018 to just 12 in 2019.

Han has six home runs, and the rest of the Wyverns have hit six.

Kim, 19, has been the Wyverns' everyday second baseman in his second KBO season. The club said he will be sidelined for at least three to four days.

The Wyverns are already without starting catcher Lee Jae-won, who went down before the start of the season with a broken right thumb. Veteran designated hitter Chae Tae-in was ruled out for six weeks on May 12 with an oblique injury.

Third baseman Choi Jeong has not missed a game but may as well be absent. After averaging nearly 38 home runs and batting .286 over the past four seasons, Choi is batting only .125 with one home run after 17 games in 2020.

In this file photo, from May 6, 2020, Han Dong-min of the SK Wyverns follows through on his two-run home run against the Hanwha Eagles in a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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