The American Professional Baseball Major League (MLB) 2023 season opens on the 31st with the lingering lingering impression of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), which ended with the pitching match of the century between Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, both members of the Los Angeles Angels .
Starting with the Atlanta Braves-Washington Nationals (Washington DC Nationals Park) and San Francisco Giants-New York Yankees (New York Yankees Stadium) games for the first time in 55 years since 1968, all teams will start their opening game at the same time in 15 American stadiums.
◆What is the weather map for Korean major leaguers?
The situation of Korean major leaguers is opposite for fielders and pitchers. Among the fielders, Ha-seong Kim (27, San Diego Padres) has the most certain status in the team. Kim Ha-seong, who was nominated for the Golden Globes last year as a shortstop, moved to second base when San Diego acquired Xander Bogarts, a top shortstop in the free agent market, for 280 million dollars (369.9 billion won) in 11 years. . Kim Ha-seong, who showed top-notch defense even as a shortstop with a heavy burden, has a good chance of winning the Golden Glove as a second baseman.
Choi Ji-man (31), who was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Pittsburgh Pirates in November of last year, is in an atmosphere of being picked as the first baseman, but there are also subtle conflicts with the club. Last winter, he failed to reach a salary agreement and lost in a salary adjustment committee. In addition, Pittsburgh also blocked Choi Ji-man from participating in the WBC, citing a history of elbow surgery. For Choi Ji-man, who is eligible for free agency after two seasons, he must prove his batting ability this season in order to sign a multi-year contract. Bae Ji-hwan (23), who plays together with Choi Ji-man in Pittsburgh, is evaluated as having a good entry into the opening roster as he made a good impression with his quick feet and utility resources in the demonstration game.
Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays), the only Korean pitcher in the big leagues, is recovering from left elbow ligament joint surgery (Tommy John surgery) that he received last June. His return is mid-July. Ryu Hyun-jin has to prove his worth in the second half.
As the 4-year, $80 million free agent contract signed with Toronto in 2020 ends this season, it is expected that depending on the performance in the second half, whether to remain in the big leagues or return to Hanwha in the KBO league will be decided.
◆Power Ranking No. 1: Houston
On the 28th, MLB.com announced the opening day power rankings. The first place was the ‘defending champion’ Houston Astros. Houston sent last year’s Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander to the New York Mets, but there are plenty of young pitchers to replace him. In addition, it is evaluated that there is no power leak, such as recruiting first baseman Jose Abreu, who was the 2020 MVP, to reinforce the other line.
In second place was the Atlanta Braves, which tied key players under long-term contracts, including Ronald Acuña Jr., the best player in the big leagues, and Ha-seong Kim’s team, San Diego, was ranked third. Along with the signing of Bogarts, San Diego has the power of other lines, including an 11-year, $350 million renewal contract with Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., who will be released from a banned substance penalty in late April, and Juan Soto, who was once evaluated to be able to sign a $500 million contract. The best in the big leagues.
Toronto, where Ryu Hyun-jin belongs, was ranked 7th behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mets and Yankees. The Angels, played by Ohtani and Trout, ranked 17th, and Pittsburgh, played by Choi Ji-man and Bae Ji-hwan, ranked 26th.
Increased fun, such as pitch clock and shift limit
Starting this year, Major League Baseball implements a ‘pitch clock’ that allows the pitcher to throw the ball within 15 seconds if there is no runner, and within 20 seconds even if there is a runner. Violation of this rule results in a ‘Ball’ being declared. An electronic clock is attached to the backstop to indicate the pitch limit.
For a thrilling game, the defensive shift was also restricted.안전놀이터 The defensive team must have at least four fielders in the infield, excluding the catcher and pitcher, and two on each side of second base.
The Associated Press recently analyzed data from demonstration games and reported that “the batting average of left-handed hitters rose from 0.255 last year to 0.274 due to shift restrictions.” As the size of the base has also increased from 15 square inches to 18 square inches to prevent injury, stealing bases that have been underestimated so far is expected to increase.