Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego) avoided a trip to the disabled list after sudden abdominal pain raised concerns. However, he is still not 100 percent and has been removed from the starting lineup. It’s still unclear what exactly is wrong with him.
San Diego announced its starting lineup for the first game of the series against Colorado, which is scheduled to take place on April 19 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. Kim Ha-seong, who has become accustomed to being at the top of the starting lineup, was nowhere to be found, as he was the day before. San Diego will start Zander Bogaerts at leadoff shortstop and Matthew Batten at second base.
However, the Padres made no roster changes ahead of the game, meaning Kim did not go on the disabled list. “It’s true that he’s feeling a little bit better, which is a good sign,” San Diego manager Bob Melvin told reporters before the game. However, he added, “I’m not sure he’s 100 percent yet,” explaining why he was left out of the starting lineup.
According to Melvin, Kim is still experiencing some discomfort in his abdomen and is working to get it under control. However, there is no official diagnosis yet, which is causing some mystery. For now, it appears to be an internal organ issue, not a muscle problem, which leaves the door open to a number of possibilities, from a simple stomach upset to something more serious.
Kim, who has been one of San Diego’s best performers this season as a leadoff hitter and the centerpiece of the infield, was fine until Sunday’s game against Oakland at the Oakland Coliseum in California. He notched a single hit and a walk on the day, as well as a spectacular glove toss to first base in the top of the ninth inning with the score 5-2, earning him local acclaim.
However, after the game, he reportedly began experiencing stomach pains that evening, which worsened while traveling to Oakland for the next day’s game. Before the game, Melvin said, “He had some stomach pain. He was pretty uncomfortable in the clubhouse. We don’t know exactly what it is until the doctor checks it out,” he said, adding, “We’re not sure if it’s muscular or intestinal yet.”
Even after the big win over Oakland on the 18th, “He had a checkup (of his abdomen) and they (the medical staff) didn’t see anything in there like appendicitis or anything like that,” he said, “so I think that’s a good thing, but we’re not 100 percent sure what it is right now. But I think I’m out of the woods. Maybe it’s a matter of what he ate. We’re not sure yet.”
In 143 games this season, Kim is hitting .265 with 17 home runs, 58 RBIs, 81 runs scored, 36 doubles, and a .763 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). He needs just three more home runs in his remaining schedule to join the 20-homer, 20-steal club, the second Korean player to do so and the first Asian infielder. With three more home runs and four more doubles, he’ll join the 20-40 club, the first Asian player in history to do so.
With just one more game to go to reach this goal, a sudden stomach ache would be unwelcome. On top of that, Kim is also in the running for a Gold Glove this season as the National League’s second baseman or utility player. The Gold Glove award is based on the subjective judgment of the on-field officials, but it’s also based on defensive records. Right now, Kim is in a tight race with a lot of competition. His chances of earning this honor are precious, and he’s likely to miss two games in a row.
If the official diagnosis is delayed, if more tests are needed, or if the abdominal pain doesn”t go away completely, he could be out a little longer. It’s hard for a player to play when he’s not feeling well. With San Diego already out of the postseason, there’s no reason to push him too hard. Even if his abdominal pain is completely resolved tomorrow, it will be a challenge to get him back to full strength. 안전놀이터
Meanwhile, San Diego’s key player and starting third baseman Manny Machado announced that he will have elbow surgery after the season. Machado has had an up-and-down year at the plate this year due to elbow pain, and has decided to move on for the foreseeable future. Recently, he’s been batting leadoff more often than not.
Machado added that he will continue to play until San Diego’s postseason chances are mathematically eliminated. He said his recovery from the surgery is expected to take six to seven months, and he’s optimistic about playing in next year’s opener.
There was good news for San Diego, too. Juan Soto was named the National League’s Player of the Week after his breakout performance last week, which included four home runs. In six games last week, Soto put on a fireworks show, batting .458 with four home runs, 13 RBIs, and a 1.500 OPS.
After a disappointing start to the season, Soto’s numbers have picked up since the middle of the year and he’s looking like a major league player. In addition to regaining his 4% walk rate, his OPS is back above .900 with a .907 OPS. Soto is eligible for free agency after the 2024 season. Soto’s future after this season will be the subject of much debate in San Diego.