Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh), who stood tall as Tampa Bay’s main hitter, announced an amazing start to the season last year. He reached a batting average of 0.357 and an on-base percentage of 0.491 in 15 games during the month of April.
Not only a high batting average, but also a huge on-base percentage and long hits, and the OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) reached 1.086 for the month of April. As the sense grew, the Tampa Bay bench was also Choi, but the strategy was modified little by little. Tampa Bay used Choi Ji-man as a thorough platoon, but it was a waste to have the team’s best hitter sit on the bench. Choi Ji-man also performed well against lefties and seemed to be breaking away from his previous image.
However, it was the pain in the right elbow that prevented only Choi from doing so. It started to hurt at some point, and later the pain grew to the point where it seriously interfered with hitting. Several small bone fragments were already embedded in his elbow. Eventually he was put on the operating table after the season. Choi Ji-man said, “At first, the medical team had opinions about whether surgery was necessary. However, when he actually had the surgery, he said, ‘You did well. The inflammation was too severe,” he explained.
Choi Ji-man recalls that everyday life itself was difficult, not baseball. Choi Ji-man said, “I couldn’t even take a shower (because my elbows weren’t straight). It was to the point where I couldn’t even brush my teeth.” I still can’t reach it,” she said, moving her elbow. Choi Ji-man smiled and waved his elbow, but at a glance, the range of motion of the elbow that would be possible for a normal person did not come out. A bitter reality coexisted behind her laughter.
Although his performance dropped from May without continuing the good momentum in April, it was Choi’s only determination to swing with such an elbow and add 52 RBIs to 11 homers. Fortunately, the pain subsided a lot after the surgery. And he’s been doing well in rehab. Despite many concerns, Choi Ji-man reassured those around him, saying, “I am doing the same training I did in previous years.” It means getting ready for the normal season.
Choi Ji-man had elbow surgery, so he left cold Korea and came to the US a little earlier than usual. He tried to take more step-by-step steps. Choi Ji-man said, “Right now, I really like it. Throwing a ball is good, and hitting a bat is good,” he said with confidence, adding, “I am exercising while doing rehabilitation. 온라인카지노 The director also said, ‘Do what you want to do and match it’. His elbow recovery seems to be up to 80 to 90 percent,” he smiles.
Elbow pain is now a thing of the past, and there is a good news in the future of defensive shift restrictions. Choi Ji-man had a high shift ratio in the opponent’s defense, and suffered a lot from this. However, this year, defensive shifts are significantly limited compared to previous years. There must be two defenders on either side of second base, and the infielders must stay in the infield. It has become impossible to see extreme shifts like before.
Choi Ji-man carefully said, “You have to open the lid to know how beneficial it will be.” However, he predicted that it would not work badly. Choi Ji-man said, “In 2019 or 2020, when the shift took place, there was a bunt or intentional push hit. As I was so conscious, there were cases where my hitting balance collapsed,” he said. If he can produce more hits with normal elbows and limited shifts, his best season is not impossible.