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Korea Baseball Organization: News, Notes, and Where to Watch

 Conor Liguori  |    May 13th, 2024 4:34pm EDT

KBO Logo (1000logos)

Two former Korea Baseball Organization players are dealing with injuries in Major League Baseball. Both injuries occurred Sunday for San Francisco Giants outfielder Jung-hoo Lee and San Diego Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim.

Lee suffered a dislocated left shoulder in Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, exiting in the sixth inning after he ran into the center field wall trying to make a catch. Padres manager Bob Melvin told reporters Lee will undergo an MRI on Monday. Lee was named the KBO Rookie of the Year in 2017 and KBO MVP in 2022 with the Kiwoom Heroes.

Kim, the first Korean-born player to win a Gold Glove Award (2023) in MLB, was hit in the wrist by a pitch in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Padres manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Kim’s X-rays came back negative and is considered day-to-day.

The 28-year-old played seven seasons in the KBO from 2014-20 with the Nexen Heroes, who became the Kiwoom Heroes in 2018. Kim won three straight KBO League Golden Glove Awards from 2018-20.


KBO Tests Automated Ball-Strike System

According to Yonhap News Agency, the KBO tested the automated ball-strike system (ABS) last Thursday.

A pitching machine that threw balls at a strike zone was set up on the mound, and ABS made ball and strike calls. Yoo Jee-ho of Yonhap News Agency reports KBO officials measured the accuracy of those calls. The KBO reports the calls made by ABS were off by an average of 4.5 millimeters horizontally and 4.4 millimeters vertically.

The reason for the test? The league reported multiple teams complained about the accuracy of ABS in different stadiums across the KBO.

“With these results, we were able to confirm that the ABS systems across the league have been making consistent calls,” the KBO stated.


Former KBO RHP Oh Jae-won Facing Legal Troubles

Oh Jae-won, a former pitcher in the KBO with the Doosan Bears (2007-22), illegally obtained the medication methamphetamine and other psychotropic pills in 2022, reports the Yonhap News Agency.

Oh was charged with having friends or acquaintances retrieve the pills for him. According to Yonhap News Agency, 13 former and active professional baseball players are under investigation regarding the charges against Oh.

Of those 13 players, the Doosan Bears found that eight of them were members of the club and delivered the pills to Oh. The names of the 13 players have not yet been announced.


This Day in Korean Baseball History

On May 13, 2007, South Korean relief pitcher Kim Byung-Hyun was dealt from the Colorado Rockies to the Florida Marlins in exchange for Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Jorge Julio.

Kim is known most for his time with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1999-2003, giving up ninth-inning leads in game four and game five of the 2001 World Series against the New York Yankees. Despite his troubles, Arizona won the series in seven games, and Kim became the first Korean player to win a World Series.


KBO Standings as of Monday, May 13

  1. KIA Tigers (25-15-0)
  2. NC Dinos (23-17-0)
  3. Samsung Lions (23-17-1)
  4. LG Twins (23-18-2)
  5. Doosan Bears (24-19-0)
  6. SSG Landers (22-19-1)
  7. KT Wiz (17-24-1)
  8. Hanwha Eagles (16-24-0)
  9. Kiwoom Heroes (16-24-0)
  10. Lotte Giants (13-25-1)


You can watch KBO games all year round on YoutubeTV.

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Conor Liguori