Edison Russell (29), who reunited with Kiwoom Heroes after three years, started the regular season in an unreliable manner.
Russell started as the 4th hitter and shortstop in the final match of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League demonstration game with the Doosan Bears held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 28th, and recorded no hits and 1 strikeout in 3 at-bats. 토토사이트
On this day, Russell did not play the role of a central hitter in the attack. He missed an RBI opportunity with a looking strikeout at the bottom of the 3rd inning when he had a double hit with 1 out and 1 base at the end of the 1st inning. His most regrettable opportunity was his last at-bat. With Kiwoom trailing 1-2, he took a chance with one run and full base at the end of the 5th inning. However, Russell once again made a ground ball to third base and recorded a double hit. Afterwards, he was replaced by Lee Seung-won, and finished the demonstration game with a batting average of 0.235 (8 hits in 34 bats), 1 home run, 6 RBIs, 3 runs, an on-base percentage of 0.270 and a slugging percentage of 0.382.
It is said that the results of the demonstration game do not mean much, but it is regrettable for a foreign player who was brought back to win. Moreover, Russell is a repeat student who experienced the KBO league as a substitute foreign player for Taylor Motor in 2020. At the time of his recruitment in 2020, he was highly anticipated for the title of starting shortstop for the Chicago Cubs of the American Major League (ML) in 2016. However, when I opened the lid, it fell short of my expectations. He was mediocre at bat with a batting average of 0.254, 2 homers, 31 RBIs, 2 stolen bases, and an OPS of 0.653 in 65 games, and he was not much different from existing shortstops in defense with 12 errors.
After failing to renew the contract with Kiwoom, Russell went to the Mexican League to seek a change. He built up his slim body and increased his muscle mass, and achieved results with a batting average of 0.334, 32 homers, 121 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.015 for two years in the Mexican League. Kiwoom, who has been constantly observing him, has been chosen as the right person to solve both the shortstop defense and the 4th batter gap caused by Yasiel Puig’s departure in 2022.
Especially as the number 4 hitter, his role is important. Last year, Kiwoom was able to finish third in the regular season and runner-up in the Korean Series thanks to the synergy between No. 3 Lee Jung-hoo (25) and No. 4 Puig. Puig struggled with a batting average of 0.245 in the first half, but in the second half he had a batting average of 0.316, 12 home runs, 36 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.962, showing top-five performances in the league.
Kiwoom expects Russell to show a 180 degree difference from the demonstration game. Although he is returning after 3 years, he hopes that the adaptation period will be short as he has no experience in the KBO league. Kiwoom Hong Won-ki, coach of Kiwoom, said in an interview before the game, “Russell went smoothly from the camp to the demonstration game. He continues to show good performances, so I think he will get off to a good start from the opening.”