CINCINNATI - Hyun Soo Kim escaped the bench last night with Scott Feldman starting for the Reds. A right-hander who doesn’t throw a knuckleball provides an ideal setup for Kim, whose opportunities have been sporadic.
The Orioles’ early schedule is heavy in left-handed opposing starters, just as manager Buck Showalter anticipated. He issued the warning. And perhaps no one is affected to the same degree as Kim.
The speculation that Kim would get more chances this year against southpaws hasn’t materialized. Showalter keeps insisting that opportunities could surface later this summer, and that we shouldn’t read too much into the April lineups.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox visit Camden Yards this weekend and Kim may be watching from the dugout again, judging by the pitching probables. You can easily read them: Two left-handers and a knuckleballer.
The guy can catch a fly ball, but not a break.
Drew Pomeranz starts tonight for the Red Sox, and former Orioles farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez is back from paternity leave to take the mound on Sunday. Craig Gentry probably will handle one of the outfield corners, and Showalter will choose between Trey Mancini and Mark Trumbo for the other side.
The usual disclaimer: The roster could undergo more changes, so never get comfortable with these projections.
Kim hasn’t faced a left-hander this month and owns a grand total of 22 plate appearances against lefties in the majors. He was 0-for-17 last season.
Showalter didn’t start Kim against Steven Wright in Boston, noting the lack of knuckleballers in the Korean Baseball Organization. Kim is 0-for-6 with a walk and two strikeouts lifetime against Wright.
Kim has appeared in eight of the Orioles’ 14 games, going 5-for-21 with a double and an RBI. He was 0-for-3 with a walk last night.
Pomeranz faced the Orioles on April 11 and limited them to one run over six innings in Boston’s 8-1 win. Mancini started in left field and went 1-for-4. Gentry started in right and was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before Seth Smith pinch-hit for him. Trumbo was 0-for-4 as the designated hitter.
Left-handers are batting .206 against Pomeranz in 140 major league games, another strike against Kim. Pomeranz is 1-2 with a 4.97 ERA in five career appearances (two starts) against the Orioles, with three walks and 19 strikeouts over 12 2/3 innings.
Tonight marks his first career start at Camden Yards, after two relief appearances totaling 3 1/3 innings. He’s allowed one run and two hits, walked none and struck out seven.
Catcher Welington Castillo is 3-for-6 with a home run against Pomeranz.
Dylan Bundy hasn’t exited a game this year without a quality start. He’s 3-for-3, including the 8-1 loss to Boston, when he was charged with three runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Bundy has allowed four runs, walked three batters and struck out 17 in 19 1/3 innings this season, giving him a 1.86 ERA to go with his 0.983 WHIP. He hasn’t surrendered a home run.
The Red Sox are facing Bundy for the ninth time in his brief career. He’s 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA and 1.778 WHIP in 27 innings against the Sox.
Mookie Betts is 5-for-12 with two home runs and Dustin Pedroia is 5-for-13 with a double.