More than two months into the season, they’ve combined for just one home run. The 23.9 billion won ($23.9 million) hitters, whom the manager cited as key players in the June rebound, seem to have become the team’s Achilles heel.

The LG Twins suffered a shocking three-game losing streak. Moreover, the recent slump of the veteran batters, who boast a combined contract value of 23.9 billion won, has reached an alarming level. This is the story of LG’s former captain Kim Hyun-soo (35) and current captain Oh Ji-hwan (33).

Kim Hyun-soo, who has been the highest paid player on the team for the past two years, and Oh Ji-hwan, who will likely be the highest paid player next year due to the long-term contract he signed before this season, have been struggling.

The hitters who are supposed to be in the middle of the lineup have combined for just one home run in over two months, with four more games already played in June. It’s gotten to the point where it’s hard to even expect to get a hit, let alone a run.

First, Kim Hyun-soo’s slump is shocking. His batting average has plummeted to .254 this season, and his on-base percentage (0.337) and slugging percentage (0.322) have combined for an abysmal .659 OPS. He did manage 25 RBIs, but most of those came in April (17), and he’s only managed eight total in May and June.

The problem is that there are no signs of improvement. In his last 10 games, Kim is batting just .079 (3-for-38). Even during LG’s three-game losing streak, he went 0-for-13 and struck out in almost every at-bat.

In fact, Kim Hyun-soo seemed to be breaking out of his long slump until the first of this month, when he hit a two-RBI double. However, on the second day of the Jamsil NC, he batted third and struck out in his first two at-bats, followed by a double to left field in the sixth and an infield single in the eighth. In the NC game on the 3rd, he went 0-for-5 in the same batting order and was unable to play the center field role at all.

The same was true on the fourth day of the NC, when the batting order was adjusted to No. 6. Kim Hyun-soo scored the team’s only run on a ground ball in the seventh inning, but he was unable to get a big hit or even a single. LG was also lethargic as they were swept in their home three-game series, going 1-3 in a blowout loss.

It’s a slump that would have been unthinkable at the start of the season. In fact, Kim Hyun-soo started April on a high note, batting .400 with one home run and 17 RBI. His lack of long balls was a flaw, but he was still able to get on base consistently and play the center field role.

However, his batting average plummeted to .148 in May. His monthly average was the lowest of the year, with just 12 hits in 91 at-bats, including only one long ball. Not surprisingly, he only had five RBIs in May. That’s an abysmal performance for a center fielder.

He’s now a black hole in the lineup, with the offense often stalling when he’s up to bat. At this point, it’s an embarrassment to the team that he’s even in the starting lineup. However, the team can’t afford to keep their highest-paid batsman on the bench.

Oh has also been struggling. In 40 games this season, he’s batting .246 with 22 RBIs. He has a decent on-base percentage of 0.372, but his slugging percentage is far below expectations at 0.338. He has eight doubles, but has yet to hit a single home run in more than two months.

It’s almost as if his career-high 25 home runs in a single season last year was a mirage.

He has followed the same trend as Kim Hyun-soo, slumping in May and June after a strong April. Oh got off to a great start in April, hitting .298 with 14 RBIs, but his batting average plummeted to .221 in May. His on-base percentage also dropped to .263 during that time. His only long balls since May are two doubles and one triple.

Gone are the days of last year when he naturally intimidated opponents. In his last 10 games, he’s batting just .189 with 13 strikeouts. This is a worrying sign, as he’s repeating his bad batting performances from the past.

On top of that, Oh hasn’t even reached the level of defense that was expected of him last year. Last year’s defense, which was dominant among infielders, is only slightly better than average among outfielders this year. His defense at shortstop alone is in the middle of the league.

The team’s recent three-game losing streak is a testament to the impact of Kim Hyun-soo and Oh Ji-hwan’s struggles. While the veterans who are supposed to fulfill their roles are struggling, other batters who were flying in May have also fallen into a slump as if it were contagious. The veterans’ slump has deepened the manager’s worries.

LG Twins manager Yoon Kyung-yeop cited the resurgence of Kim Hyun-soo and Oh Ji-hwan as a challenge for June. “Our batting lineup 토토사이트 can be better if Oh and Kim, who were not good in May, come back to life,” he said, adding, “I think finding a fourth starter and recovering these two will be our team’s mission in June.”

Moreover, their combined contracts are huge, so a rebound is imperative.

After the 2021 season, Kim Hyun-soo signed a free agent contract worth up to 6 years (4+2 years) and 11.5 billion won, while Oh Ji-hwan’s 6-year, 12.4 billion won multi-year contract starts next year. Kim is only in the second year of his contract, and Oh hasn’t even started his sixth year yet.

With Kim having little to offer in the way of defense, and Oh having to play a key position at shortstop, a prolonged slump could be disastrous.

Given their current roles on the team, their positions in the clubhouse, their importance to the immediate batting order, and the size of their remaining contracts, the current struggles of Kim Hyun-soo and Oh Ji-hwan should be a significant concern for LG.

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