PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Hyun Soo Kim is still looking for his first hit with the Orioles. On Thursday, he was hitless in three at-bats for the third straight game. He’s now 0-for-9.
Manager Buck Showalter says that he’ll give the South Korean outfielder a day off on Friday when the Orioles travel to Dunedin to play the Toronto Blue Jays.
Showalter says that he won’t be too quick to judge Kim, who’s brand new to the U.S.
“I figure we’ll know about mid-May If he goes north with us, and he’s playing like we hope he will. There’s so many things you just don’t know,” Showalter said.
“It’s like a guy you call from Triple-A. I’m not saying the [Korea Baseball Organization] is Triple-A, I’m just saying it’s a different environment. When guys come up from Triple-A, the biggest challenge is the level of consistency you see.”
Showalter knows that U.S. pitchers throw harder than their Korean counterparts.
“My gut would be if he has any problems it would be with the velocity. Most of those guys over there have a pretty good breaking ball,” Showalter said.
While there are unknowns about Kim, there are also knowns.
“What you see, what your eyes tell you. What you are watching. I’ve seen the scouting reports, I’ve seen the video. It’s more about what your eyes tell you and what your experience tells you to not put too much stock in,” Showalter said.
In the first two games, the Braves shifted against Kim. Tampa Bay played him straight up on Thursday.
“I can tell you by his reaction the other day that they don’t shift on him. And I think most teams won’t shift on him. He has the ability to hit the ball the other way, change directions when you get into the shift,” Showalter said.
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