Buck Showalter likes to refer to players who have a special use for the Orioles as “trustworthy.” Could Hyun Soo Kim fall into that category?
It was just two weeks ago that the Orioles were faced with a dilemma. They wanted to send the South Korean outfielder, who began spring games with an 0-for-23 hitless streak, to Triple-A Norfolk so that he could play more often and better prepare himself for U.S. baseball.
Citing his contract, which requires his permission for such an assignment, Kim refused, and the Orioles weren’t going to forfeit the $7 million he’s going to earn over the next two seasons if they released him.
Reluctantly, they placed him on the roster, and suddenly, Kim has reached base in five of his eight plate appearances. He has three singles and walked twice.
That’s what the Orioles hand in mind when they signed him, a left-handed hitter who could diversify their offense.
Showalter repeatedly tried to convince the proud Kim that it was best if he went to Norfolk. Dan Duquette tried to as well.
But, instead of burying Kim, Showalter is trying to test him, to find what works.
He hasn’t played him against a left-hander, but on Thursday night, Kim delivered a ninth inning pinch hit single.
Kim’s defense isn’t very good. His arm is pedestrian, and he doesn’t run very well, but if he get on base, Showalter will look for places to play him.
NOTE: The Orioles acquired right-handed pitcher Scott McGough on waivers from Miami. He was optioned to Norfolk.
McGough had a 9.45 ERA in six games for the Marlins last season.
The Orioles currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster. Last week, they acquired another pitcher, left-hander Jayson Aquino on waivers from St. Louis, and optioned him to Bowie.
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