“I got a call and said, ‘It won’t be easy because of the injury.'”

Heo Gyeong-min (33), third baseman for the Doosan Bears, returned the Taegeuk mark with personal regret behind. KBO originally planned to include Heo Kyung-min in the final 30-man roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team on the 4th. Along with Choi Jeong 토토사이트 (36, SSG Landers), Heo Gyeong-min is considered a representative third baseman in the KBO League.

But his body was in trouble. Heo Gyeong-min is currently working out while managing his back injury, but time was running out to improve his physical condition in time for the upcoming tournament starting on March 9th. It was not easy to give up the Taegeuk mark that any player dreams of, but he had to make a decision not only for himself but also for the national team.

Technical Committee Chairman Cho Beom-hyun explained, “Heo Gyeong-min was originally included in the final entry. But he was contacted and said, ‘It won’t be easy because of his injury.’ So he was left out.”

With Heo Gyeong-min gone, only Choi Jeong, a professional third baseman, remained among the national team’s infielders. He won the home run king three times in 2016, 2017, and 2021, and I do not doubt the offensive power of Choi Jeong, who hit 26 homers last year as well. Heo Kyung-min is ahead of him in terms of defense, but Choi Jeong’s defense is also stable.

The problem is the number of matches played. If Korea passes the first round and advances to the quarterfinal tournament and championship round, even if Choi Jeong is still alive, a backup third baseman is a must.

Lee Kang-chul, coach of the Korean national baseball team, suggested Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres) and Tommy Edman (28, St. Louis Cardinals) as backup third baseman candidates. Ha-seong Kim will be the starting shortstop and Edmon will be the starting second baseman, but Oh Ji-hwan (33, LG Twins) and Kim Hye-seong (24, Kiwoom Heroes) can replace the shortstop and second baseman.

Director Lee explained, “Ha-seong Kim can be a third baseman, and Edmund actually becomes a third baseman. I think Ha-seong Kim is more stable in defense. I will go with this member.”

After playing as a member of the WBSC Premier 12 championship in 2015, Heo Kyung-min has been consistently called to the national team until the 2017 WBC, the 2019 Premier 12, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Whenever that happened, Heo Gyeong-min showed pride in the Taegeuk mark, saying, “It will be the same for any player from any country to want to play for the country.” Although this tournament was canceled due to injury, he plans to greet the new season by focusing more on body care.