Kim shows signs of regaining hitting prowess

Showalter applauds O's newcomer's 2-hit game; Gausman happy with 4-inning start

Kim shows signs of regaining hitting prowess

SARASOTA, Fla. -- On Tuesday, when the Orioles got back from playing the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., manager Buck Showalter got together with struggling outfielder Hyun Soo Kim. During the meeting, they watched tape of some of Kim's at-bats from his days in the Korean Baseball Organization, where he posted an .895 career OPS.

In Baltimore's 9-3 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday afternoon, Showalter saw signs of that hitter emerging again. Kim went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, raising his spring average to .147 (5-for-34).

Spring Training information

"Kim had his best at-bats of the spring," Showalter said.

For Showalter, getting the right message to a player like Kim, who doesn't speak English, is a challenge. While Kim has an interpreter, that doesn't guarantee a perfect flow of information.

"It's tough with interpreters, because most of them haven't played the game," Showalter said. "It's kind of like the context that you're putting something in, in baseball mentality, you don't always know if it's being translated."

It helped that, in this case, Hee-Seop Choi also was part of the meeting. Choi, a fellow South Korean who played in the Majors from 2002-05, is a guest coach in the Orioles' Minor League camp. Then again, maybe it was a case of video being worth a thousand words.

Kim was the only Orioles starter not to strike out against Pirates starter Juan Nicasio. He hit into a force play on a well-struck grounder up the middle, lined a single off the glove of leaping shortstop Jordy Mercer and picked up an infield single on a grounder between third and short. In his past five games, Kim is 5-for-13 with a walk, though he is still searching for an extra-base hit.

"If he fires a fastball down the left-field line, that's OK," Showalter said. "In fact, I was showing him some tape last night of his at-bats in Korea, and he actually had two or three of those at-bats today just like that.

"I'm anxious to see where it goes, but he had a good look in his eye today."

Worth noting

• Making his second Grapefruit League start, right-hander Kevin Gausman was happy to get through four innings on Wednesday. However, he was critical of a leadoff walk to Francisco Cervelli in the fourth, and of a breaking ball he threw to the next hitter, Andrew McCutchen, which went for a two-run homer.

"He's a perfectionist type," Showalter said. "Almost to a fault. 'It's not good enough.' He's a tough grader of himself. That's why you trust that he's got a chance to be as good as he's capable of being."

Gausman discusses his outing

• Left-hander T.J. McFarland, who was dealing with some elbow soreness, pitched in his first Grapefruit League game since March 6. He retired all three Pirates he faced in the seventh inning.

"It was good to get Mac out there," Showalter said. "He was crisp and felt real good afterward, so that's a good sign."

Andrew Simon is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.