San Diego Padres Kim Ha-sung to appear as center hitter in opener against LA Dodgers?

San Diego will play the opening game of the MLB World Tour Seoul Series against the Dodgers at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 20th. With interest in the game focused in the U.S., the official major league website predicted that Kim Ha-sung will be listed in the starting lineup as the fifth batter and shortstop.

Kim has consistently been at the center of the lineup in exhibition games of the spring camp and special games of the Seoul Series under coach Mike Shildt. Playing in 11 exhibition games, Kim played as the fifth batter and recorded a batting average of 0.304 with seven hits in 23 at-bats, one homer, five RBIs and four walks, and a batting average of 0.304 with an on-base percentage of 0.522 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 0.915. He played one game as the first batter and recorded one hit in three times at bat.

Kim Ha-sung also played as a center hitter in the Seoul Series special match. Kim Ha-sung played as the fifth batter and shortstop in a game against Team Korea on the 17th, recording one hit in four times at bat. In a game against the LG Twins on the 18th, he played as the fifth shortstop and recorded two hits, two homers, four RBIs, and two runs in four times at bat.

MLBcom also introduced Kim Ha-sung’s performance, saying, “Kim Ha-sung recorded a batting average of 0.308 (8 hits, 1 home run in 26 times at bat) in the exhibition game, and he also hit multiple home runs in Korea.”

MLBCOM predicted that Coach Silt will use Kim Ha-sung as the fifth batter and shortstop in the opening game against the Dodgers. The media reported that San Diego has Xander Bogaerts (second baseman), Fernando Tatis Jr. (right fielder), Jake Cronenworth (first baseman), Manny Machado (designated hitter), Kim Ha-sung (striker), Jurickson Profar (left fielder), and Lewis Campu. The lineup is expected to be formed in the order of Sano (catcher), Graham Foley (third baseman), and Jackson Merrill (middle fielder).

MLBcom wrote, “Machado underwent elbow surgery in October last year. He will start as a designated hitter early this season. San Diego has vacancies at third base and Foley, Egui Rosario, and Tyler Wade are expected to fill Machado’s vacancy. Merrill trained as a third baseman, but is expected to play center field. That would make him the youngest opening day center fielder since Andrew Johnson in 1996

San Diego’s starting pitcher is Yu Darvish, as was announced. Darvish suffered from frequent injuries last year and finished the season with an 8-10 record and a 4.56 ERA. said, “Darvish struggled with injuries in 2023, but he was committed to rehabilitation during the offseason. Having returned successfully, Darvish has been in good shape since spring camp.”


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