Choi Ji-man has been dropped from the Korean team for World Baseball Classic 2023 after his MLB team, the Pittsburg Pirates, objected to his participation on medical grounds.
Choi, the most seasoned Korean batter playing in the big leagues, was named to the Korean squad for the tournament last month. With previous Korean rosters often overlooking players without any KBO experience, Choi had never been called up to represent Korea before.
“I feel hungry because I have never put on a Taeguk mark before,” Choi Ji-man told reporters at Incheon International Airport on Jan. 8 before he departed to the United States for the MLB preseason.
The Pirates opted to block Choi Ji-man’s participating on medical grounds as he is still undergoing rehabilitation following elbow surgery last year.
Korean national baseball team manager Lee Kang-chul replaced Choi Ji-man, a first baseman, with SSG Landers outfielder Choi Ji-hoon.
Choi Ji-hoon, 25, made his debut in 2020 with the SK Wyverns, now the SSG Landers. He recorded a 0.304 batting average and 10 home runs last season, posting the best numbers of his career.
The WBC will mark Choi Ji-hoon’s international debut. 슬롯사이트
The 2023 WBC was originally scheduled to take place in 2021 but was postponed for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is now scheduled to take place in Japan, Taiwan, and the United States from March 8 to 21 this year.
Korea is in Pool B with Japan, Australia, China, and the Czech Republic, with an opening game against Australia on March 9 at Tokyo Dome in Japan.
All Pool B’s games will be played in the same venue.
The top two teams in the pool will advance to the quarterfinals, which will also take place at Tokyo Dome. The semifinals and final will be played in Miami.