Showalter 'trying to prepare' Kim for Majors

Korean left fielder adjusting to stateside life -- and pace of big leagues

Showalter 'trying to prepare' Kim for Majors

SARASOTA, Fla. -- No one knows quite what to expect from new Oriole Hyun Soo Kim, but manager Buck Showalter isn't going to form an opinion based on a few Grapefruit League at-bats.

"I figure we'll know about mid-May, if he goes north with us, and he's playing like we hope he will," Showalter said of Kim, who started his third consecutive game on Thursday. "There's so many things you just don't know and try to ... it's like a guy you call from Triple-A. I'm not saying the KBO [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 [in opposing pitchers]."

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Kim, who is 0-for-9 this spring, has been hard at work since reporting to Sarasota, Fla., working with vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson and the rest of the athletic training staff to get ready for the rigors of the Major Leagues.

"I know what he weighed in [as] and what he weighs now, and he's carrying less weight," Showalter said. "[Kim] said he usually loses 15-20 pounds during the season."

Kim will not travel for Friday's road game to face the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., and Showalter will balance monitoring his rest this spring and trying to make sure the left fielder is as acclimated as he can be.

"I'm trying to prepare him for what's ahead of him, if he makes our club. But everything that I can expose him to, I think the more it helps him," Showalter said of Kim, who signed a two-year, $7 million contract this winter. "Whether it's playing against Tampa, playing in another ballpark, he's taking up the little nuances about anything, just to give him more of a comfort zone. He likes to play."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.