South Korean OF Kim makes Orioles opening day roster
BALTIMORE (AP) South Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim has made the Baltimore Orioles' 25-man opening day roster after resisting the team's effort to send him to the minor leagues.
Kim batted .178 during spring training and had only one plate appearance over the final week of the exhibition season.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette hoped to option Kim to Triple-A for more seasoning. But Kim's $7 million, two-year contract included a provision that prevents the club from sending him to the minors without his consent.
So, when Baltimore announced its final roster on Sunday, Kim made the cut.
''We asked him to take some more time to get the at-bats that we felt he needed to show the form that he had shown in international competition,'' Duquette said. ''It was his option. We asked for his consent because we thought that was the best way to prepare him. He didn't see it that way.''
Kim, 28, said through a translator: ''The management has done what they had to do. I'm going to try to ... show the fans and others who have been watching me what I can do.''
He conceded that it might take some time.
''With the great team support, and support from the teammates, I'm very sure that I will get used to the United States and Major League Baseball,'' Kim said.
Kim was one of the top players in the Korea Baseball Organization before signing with the Orioles. The team envisioned him being a starter, but it became apparent early that Kim was going to have problems against big league pitching.
He went hitless in his first 23 at-bats, managed only eight hits in 45 at-bats and walked only once
The Orioles hope that after making the adjustment to a new culture and better pitching, Kim will put up decent numbers.
''The good news is, if he hits like it says he can hit in the book, I think that we have a need for a left-handed hitter on our roster,'' Duquette said. ''Hopefully the next part of his hitting will be a stronger sample of what we saw in the spring.''
And until then?
''I'm going to use everybody, and I think he has a chance to contribute,'' manager Buck Showalter said.
Baltimore placed three players on the 15-day disabled list Sunday: right-hander Kevin Gausman (shoulder strain), lefty Brian Matusz (rib cage) and infielder Jimmy Paredes (sprained left wrist). Also, outfielder Xavier Avery was reassigned to minor league camp.