Notes on Hyun Soo Kim and tonight’s game

The Orioles are facing another left-hander tonight, Kansas City’s Danny Duffy, which could keep Hyun Soo Kim on the bench for another game.

It’s the only way to remove a .377 hitter from the lineup. A hitter with a .449 on-base percentage.

A scout from outside the organization said he has to tear up his old scouting report on Kim from spring training and change the grade assigned to the former Korean Baseball Organization star.

The scout noted improvements in Kim’s body language, approach at the plate and play in left field. Kim’s squaring up the ball now and appears much more comfortable and confident. He no longer looks “scared.”

Kim won’t win a Gold Glove and his arm is below average, but you know he’s gotten better when fly balls hit to left field no longer warrant an immediate tweet. He’s making all the plays. It isn’t newsworthy.

The talk of Kim being unable to hit a high-velocity fastball has quieted. In a game last week, he got around on a 97 mph heater and drove it to center field.


“In the spring, I was talking to all of you about the average fastball there,” said manager Buck Showalter. “He’s made some adjustments. This is a guy who walked 100 times last year, from what I understand. He’s in a good place. You can tell he feels good about contributing. But he hasn’t changed anything. He hasn’t changed how he acts. He’s very respectful and he likes winning.”

Showalter is known to check on Kim through interpreter Danny Lee.

“I ask the interpreter all the time, ‘Is he happy? Is there anything we can do?’ And he says, ‘No. He’s having the time of his life.’”

Duffy has held left-handers to a .215 average in his career, while right-handers are hitting .259. He’s making his fifth start tonight after joining the Royals’ rotation on May 15.

As a starter, Duffy has allowed eight runs and 17 hits over 18 2/3 innings. He’s walked two and struck out 19. Overall, he’s 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA in 20 games, with seven walks and 40 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings.

Duffy threw a scoreless inning of relief against the Orioles on April 24 in Kansas City. He’s 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in six career games (four starts) against them, with six earned runs, eight walks and 22 strikeouts in 24 innings. He’s 0-1 with a 3.48 ERA in three games (two starts) at Camden Yards, with four earned runs and eight hits in 10 1/3 innings. He’s walked six and struck out 14.

The current group is batting .157 (8-for-51) against Duffy. Adam Jones is 1-for-13 with seven strikeouts and Manny Machado is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts.

Matt Wieters will return to the lineup after Francisco Pena started yesterday. He’s 2-for-5 with a double against Duffy.

The Orioles are giving Mike Wright another chance in the rotation tonight and he’s working on normal rest. He’s also searching for his first win since May 14 against the Tigers.

In his last three starts, Wright has allowed 13 runs (11 earned) and 18 hits over 12 2/3 innings. Left-handers are hitting .369 against him this season and right-handers are hitting .234.

Wright has made two career starts against the Royals and allowed nine runs and 12 hits in 11 1/3 innings. The current group is 9-for-26 against him. Lorenzo Cain is 2-for-6 with two home runs, Eric Hosmer is 2-for-4 with a home run and Drew Butera is 2-for-3 with two doubles.

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