2 S. Korean players suffer injuries during MLB games

May 13, 2024

Two South Korean players in Major League Baseball (MLB) this season, Lee Jung-hoo of the San Francisco Giants and Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres, have both suffered injuries that forced them to leave their games.

The San Francisco Giants center fielder Lee Jung-hoo suffered a dislocated left shoulder after crashing into the outfield fence attempting to make a catch against the Cincinnati Reds at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sunday (local time).

Kim Ha-seong, shortstop for the San Diego Padres, took a pitch to his left wrist during the series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park in San Diego. Kim stayed in the game momentarily but was lifted at the start of the next half inning.

Lee hurt his shoulder on a double by Jeimer Candelario during the top of the first. Lee ran to his left looking to make a leaping grab, but as the ball hit the end of his glove and then the top of the wall before bouncing back into play, Lee crumpled to the ground and immediately grabbed his left shoulder.

Lee stayed down for a few moments, with fellow outfielders Mike Yastrzemski and Heliot Ramos calling for team trainers to come out and check on the South Korean rookie.

Dave Groeschner, the Giants’ head athletic trainer, held Lee’s left arm steady on their way off the field. Fans chanted “Jung Hoo Lee!” as the center fielder walked back to the clubhouse. The Giants initially announced Lee had suffered a left shoulder strain but then said he had dislocated his shoulder.

Tyler Fitzgerald took over in center field before Lee, who was to bat leadoff in the bottom of the first, even got his first plate appearance.

The Reds scored three runs on Candelario’s double, but the Giants rallied to win the game 6-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning thanks to Casey Schmitt’s double.

Lee had missed the previous three games after fouling a ball off his left foot during Wednesday’s game.

Lee is batting .262/.310/.331 with two home runs, eight RBIs and two steals in 37 games, and has made some highlight-reel plays in center field. He ranks second on the Giants with 38 hits.

He had hit safely in six straight games before the foot injury sidelined him, and now he appears in danger of missing more significant time.

Lee could become the seventh Giants position player to land on the injured list over the past week.

In San Diego, Kim was struck on the left wrist by a 94.4 mph sinker from Dodgers starter Walker Buehler. Kim jumped out of the batter’s box while grabbing his wrist in obvious pain. After being tended to by a team trainer, Kim remained in the game and was forced out at second base on a grounder by Luis Arraez.

Then Tyler Wade took over at shortstop to begin the top of the fifth.

Padres manager Mike Shildt said after the game that X-rays on Kim came back negative. The Padres won the game 4-0.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Kim had his left wrist and forearm area wrapped in a compression sleeve after the game, but the player was optimistic that he had avoided a more serious injury.

“I haven’t been hit in this area before,” Kim was quoted as saying through interpreter David Lee. “I was pretty scared. I thought it was pretty bad myself, but as time passed, I felt I was getting better. Luckily, it’s getting better right now.”

Kim said the wrist area was “pretty swollen up” and added, “I’ll have to wait and see until tomorrow to see if I can play.”

The Padres will stay home and host the Colorado Rockies for a three-game series starting Monday.

Kim, who hit a flyout to left in his first at-bat in the second inning, is batting .208/.316/.362 in 43 games this season, along with five home runs, 21 RBIs and a team-best eight steals. But he has only hit .188 so far in May.