Han Dong-hee, who manager said was “in good shape,” struck out two in his comeback…a long, long road to resurgence

Lotte Giants infielder Han Dong-hee, who returned to the first team after a two-week absence, was silent in his comeback. He failed to continue the fierce hitting he showed in the Futures League.

Han started the 14th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the KIUM Heroes at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Tuesday, batting sixth and playing third base, and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

It had been 14 days since Han appeared in a first-team game against SSG Landers on June 6. Han focused on regaining her hitting touch after being dropped from the Future Team the previous day after being removed from the first team roster on July 7.

Han was in the midst of his worst slump this season, batting .217 (55-for-254) with four home runs, 28 RBIs and a .569 OPS in 77 games with the first team. Lotte manager Larry Sutton ordered him to make “adjustments,” and he spent more than 10 days in the second team to regroup.

For Han, the Futures League was narrow. From Sept. 9 against the Goyang (Kiwoom) Heroes to Sept. 18 against the Samsung Lions, she batted .455 with 10 doubles and two home runs in 22 at-bats in the second team, waiting for the first team coaching staff’s call.

The Lotte infield also needed Han Dong-hee in the first team. Foreign hitter Niko Goodrum was not at 100 percent due to a sore hamstring, and Noh Jin-hyuk was also out of form.

Sutton called Han back to the first team on the 20th. With her recent batting form, she was expected to play the role of a fixer-upper, batting sixth behind the center fielders.

Sutton said, “She made a good adjustment in the second team, going 10-for-22. She’s in great shape, so we called her up today based on a lot of different variables,” Sutton said. “The fact that she had a good second game is one indication that she’s adjusted well, and I’ve heard she’s hitting to both left, center and right.”메이저놀이터

However, Han Dong-hee’s comeback game was less than satisfactory. In her first at-bat in the top of the first inning, with Lotte leading 1-0, Han hit a grounder to second base. It was a good pitch, but she had to swallow her disappointment as it went straight to the fielder.

Han’s silence continued. She struck out in the third inning, grounded out to the pitcher in the fifth inning, and struck out in the seventh inning, failing to show the kind of power the Lotte coaching staff had hoped for. Han Dong-hee was eventually replaced by Lee Hak-joo in the bottom of the seventh inning to start the defense and complete her comeback.

With Han going hitless, Lotte fell to a 6-7 defeat and suffered their third straight loss. Both Lotte and Han will end the week with heavy hearts and prepare for a three-game midweek series against the LG Twins next week.

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