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Monday, April 25, 2016

A Record Setting Five Koreans Debut in Major League Baseball

When most fans of Major League Baseball (MLB) think of players from the Pacific Rim, players imported from Japan’s professional league tend to come to mind. Whether it be Ichiro or for a period Dice K Matsuzaka, there have been a string of high profile players coming from Japan to the United States. That perception may be about to change. While more Japanese professionals have played in the major leagues, players from Korea are increasingly making their mark in MLB as well.

Because of the thriving professional leagues in Korea and Japan, a posting system remains in place that limits the flow of talent to the majors from Korea and Japan relative to what the overall level of talent in either country would warrant than in comparison from Latin America. This has begun to change somewhat in the last decade or so thanks in part to the success of players such as Ichiro and more recently to Koreans such as Choo Shin-soo with the Rangers and Ryu Hyun-jin with the Dodgers.

In the case of Korea, this all began with Park Chan-ho. Park became the first Korean to play in the major leagues when he briefly made his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994, but would go on to become a star once he had established himself in the majors by 1996. Park’s success helped to pave the way for other players from Korea to come to the United States, with a peak of 8 Koreans playing in the majors in 2005.

While the number of Koreans playing in MLB tailed off after 2005, the 2016 season has seen a resurgence in Koreans playing in the majors. Five Korean-born players have already made their debut this season and the number of Korean-born players on MLB rosters is again at an all-time high of eight. However, if prospects such as Lee Hak-ju of the San Francisco Giants make their debut this season, 2016 could represent a high-water mark for Koreans in Major League Baseball.

The following is a brief look at the five Korean-born players to have made their debut this season in the majors:


With ‘no changes’ in MRI, Orioles hope Yovani Gallardo returns in about 4 weeks - Baltimore Sun

A new MRI on Gallardo’s ailing right shoulder Sunday showed “no changes” from the MRI taken two months ago during Gallardo’s club physical, before the Orioles signed him in February, according to an industry source.

Gallardo left Friday’s game in Kansas City after just two innings after feeling discomfort in his shoulder and was placed on the DL before Saturday’s game against the Royals, marking the first time in parts of 10 major league seasons that he has gone on the DL with an arm-related injury.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, yovani gallardo

Orioles notes: Hyun Soo Kim more aggressive at plate; Tyler Wilson to start Thursday - Baltimore Sun

“This is a guy who walked 100-plus times in Korea last year, and I think he’s kind of seeing that there’s a little more attack mode here,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He was telling me that six or seven out of 10 pitches he sees over there are breaking balls. And because of his reputation over there, guys pitched him kind of like how you see them pitch some of our guys when they’re swinging the bats. So it was tough for him initially when guys were really attacking him with a really more consistent velocity fastball early. But he’s made the adjustment. He’s smart. He’s studying and watching. That’s one of the good things about him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2016 at 09:02 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hyun soo kim, orioles

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Players Honor Prince by Changing Walkup Music.

Later in the evening, a handful of players changed their walk-up music to Prince songs, including the Reds’ Brandon Phillips, the Orioles’ Adam Jones, the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez and the Rangers’ Bryan Holaday.

As a rule, I don’t get worked up over celebrity deaths. But this one hurts.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: April 21, 2016 at 10:59 PM | 670 comment(s)
  Beats: death, music, orioles, rangers, reds, twins, yankees

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


The Rise and Fall of Rafael Palmeiro

At the far end of the Mexican restaurant just off the highway in a Dallas suburb, he slides into a booth.

“I could still do it,” Rafael Palmeiro says. “If I had to play a full season, I could probably hit .270, with 25 home runs. It’s between the ears, man.”

The restaurant is half-full for lunch, and the pop music on the speakers drowns out any noise. A lanky, 30-something waiter comes by every five minutes, pauses and asks if he wants water, or if he’s OK. Each time the waiter leaves, he glances back at Palmeiro.

It’s awkward, but it’s not quite celebrity gawking—he doesn’t want a photo. His curiosity is more academic. He studies him. He knows this man, of course. We all do. He was once a sure-fire baseball Hall of Famer. Now the waiter is attempting to fold together the two defining points in this man’s life and make sense of it—the 500th home run followed by his name stamped onto the wall in what was then called the Ballpark in Arlington a few miles down the road, and the announcement he was a cheater two years later.

Palmeiro smiles politely. For nearly 11 years, besides the occasional phone interview and a documentary produced about his college baseball team, he’s disappeared from public life. But now he wants to empty his soul. When the waiter leaves he turns his shoulders to face me.

“This isn’t how I envisioned my life to be.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 19, 2016 at 08:45 AM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, peds, rafael palmeiro, rangers

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Inside the record-setting seventh inning for Mark Trumbo and the homer-happy Orioles - Baltimore Sun

“There’s no doubt. This is where the fun is. The speculation — the preseason — is one thing,” Trumbo said. “But to go and actually see it with your own eyes, in season, this was a really, really fun game for us.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 16, 2016 at 07:09 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mark trumbo, orioles

Monday, April 11, 2016

Orioles understand but dislike the tobacco ban they’re about to face - Baltimore Sun

Reliever Darren O’Day, the Orioles’ union representative, said players have been briefed on the laws during spring training. He believes it’s “reasonable” to reduce the visibility of the tobacco use so as to not influence children, but said the ban is “a bit of a government overreach.”

“There’s a triple-bacon cheeseburger,” O’Day said. “Do you really need that? No, you don’t, but the government’s not going to outlaw it.

“I get it,” O’Day said. “We get it. But as I said before, there’s some personal liberties that I just don’t think should be infringed upon. I don’t dip. I don’t smoke. I smoke a cigar once in a while. My dad lives in a community in Florida where you can’t smoke a cigar on your own back porch. To me, that just blows my mind.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 11, 2016 at 08:57 AM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Friday, April 08, 2016

Joe-eey Rickard: A man of growing legend (Dylan Bundy, Twins notes) - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Joey Rickard, Cinderella story or the real deal?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 08, 2016 at 08:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: joey rickard, orioles

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Orioles closer Zach Britton rises only after he embraced the sinker - Baltimore Sun

“If anyone’s ever told you they thought this was going to happen, I’d think they’d be crazy,” Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace said. “None of us knew really. It was an opportunity, a guy with great stuff and makeup. He’s found a role, or a role has found him, however way you want to put it. He’s embraced it. There’s a lot disappointments in our end of the game, but once in a while something like this comes along and it’s tremendous.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2016 at 08:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, zach britton

Friday, April 01, 2016

Jonathan Schoop proving power is for real | MLB.com

You can probably still buy low.

All of this is important because a roster that also contains slugging stars like Jones, Chris Davis and Manny Machado makes it easy for Schoop to be overlooked, but there’s an argument to be made that if healthy, he’ll be baseball’s best power-hitting second baseman in 2016. After all, his 484.5 foot homer off of Johnny Cueto on Aug. 26 was the third-longest home run measured by Statcast™ all season long, and one of the two ahead required help from Coors Field.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2016 at 11:17 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: jonathan schoop, orioles

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Orioles move to cut ties with Miguel Gonzalez, placing him on release waivers

The Miguel Gonzalez era with the Orioles is over. According to The Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo Encina, the O’s have given Gonzalez his unconditional release. Next, Gonzalez will be placed on waivers, and if he goes unclaimed for 48 hours, he will become a free agent.

It’s a move that’s surprising in the sense that the O’s under Buck Showalter have tended to stick with their guys, and Gonzalez was definitely one of their guys. It’s less surprising in that Gonzalez had a bad year last year, posting a 4.91 ERA for 2015. He also has not had a good spring, and Showalter has periodically hinted through the spring that there is more competition for the starting rotation than people have realized.

More than just not having good results in spring training, Gonzalez didn’t have very good stuff underneath those results.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 30, 2016 at 03:24 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel gonzalez, orioles

Orioles’ conundrum with Hyun Soo Kim just the latest drama in a spring training full of messes - Baltimore Sun

Would any other team pick him up?

And why should Kim—after receiving just 44 spring training at bats—be convinced he can’t cut it in the United States? It was just last year that Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Jung Ho Kang struggled mightily in spring training. He opened the spring 1-for-23, looked lost at shortstop and, at the plate, he couldn’t make adjustments as pitchers jammed him inside.

The Pirates carried Kang as a backup infielder on Opening Day. By mid-May, he was hitting .300 and he ended the season third in National League Rookie of the Year voting.

Let’s say Kim ends up accepting an assignment to Norfolk. Where do you play him?

The Orioles would like Christian Walker to play left field every day, so Kim isn’t becoming a better left fielder by not playing there. The Tides already have a crowded outfield mix that will likely include Walker, Dariel Alvarez, Henry Urrutia, L.J. Hoes, Xavier Avery, Alfredo Marte and Julio Borbon.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2016 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hyun soo ki, orioles

Monday, March 28, 2016

Are the Orioles looking to send struggling outfielder Hyun Soo Kim back to South Korea? | FOX Sports

he O’s, according to sources, have talked internally about potentially trying to strike a similar arrangement with South Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, who is struggling mightily in his first major-league spring training.

Orioles general manager Dan Duquette, asked Saturday if such a possibility was realistic, said, “I don’t know if we’re there yet,” indicating that he is still evaluating Kim.

Duquette added that such a decision would not rest solely with the Orioles. Kim would need to affirm that he wants to return to South Korea, and a team in the KBO would need to show a willingness to sign him.

Kim’s two-year, $7 million contract with the Orioles states that he “may not be assigned to minors,” though it is possible he could agree to such a demotion.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:08 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: hyun-soo kim, orioles

Sunday, March 27, 2016

School of Roch: Talking rotation, Rickard and the roster

“It’s just Spring Training.” If I were managing the Orioles, I’d still be concerned.

The projected rotation of Tillman, Gallardo, Jimenez, Gausman and Miguel Gonzalez has surrendered 55 earned runs and 73 hits in 44 2/3 innings. The group has issued 24 walks and struck out 28 batters.

Odrisamer Despaigne, who’s expected to start at Triple-A Norfolk, has posted a 6.75 ERA in eight relief appearances. He’s allowed 10 runs and 19 hits in 13 1/3 innings, with six walks and five strikeouts.

Mike Wright, who starts again on Monday, has posted a 5.74 ERA in five games. He’s allowed 10 runs and 19 hits in 15 2/3 innings, with four walks and 15 strikeouts.

Tyler Wilson is carrying a 2.92 ERA in five games, including three starts. He’s allowed five runs (four earned) and 13 hits in 12 1/3 innings, with no walks and six strikeouts.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2016 at 07:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Friday, March 18, 2016

School of Roch: Duquette on Trumbo, Kim and Wieters

Shouldn’t Wieters be feeling better by now?

I asked Duquette if he felt confident that catcher Matt Wieters would be in the opening day lineup after experiencing discomfort in his right elbow during Saturday’s game.
“I’m not sure where that’s going to come out,” Duquette replied. “I know he needs a rest period before he ramps it up, but I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve heard. I know looking at Matt, it looks to me like he’s fairly encouraged by how he feels.

“We’re in a pretty good position with our catching depth. Of course we’d like to have Matt back to start the season, but I don’t know the answer to that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2016 at 07:16 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: hyun soo kim, mark trumbo, matt wieters, orioles

Thursday, March 17, 2016

School of Roch: Notes on Wieters, Matusz, Britton and more

Still not a good sign.

Renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews examined Matt Wieters’ MRI and concurred with team physicians who said there were no signs of structural damage.

More good news for the Orioles, who held obvious concerns about Wieters after he exited Saturday’s game with right wrist soreness.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2016 at 07:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: matt wieters, orioles

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hyun Soo Kim continues drought, could be testing Orioles’ patience - Baltimore Sun

It’s looks like he may start in AAA.

As Hyun Soo Kim’s hitless streak grew to 21 at-bats following an 0-for-3 outing in the Orioles’ 8-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday afternoon, the club is remaining hopeful that the South Korean outfielder will break out of his early spring slump sooner than later. But it’s growing evident that the Orioles are getting just as frustrated with Kim’s struggles.

“It’s just, I know what 0-for-whatever looks like,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “You look at things other than that. He is pressing. I think there are some things you’ll see look a lot differently when he gets a couple under his belt, but this is the big leagues. It’s competitive and it’s unforgiving. It’s an unforgiving place.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:10 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hyun-soo kim, orioles

Orioles’ Chris Tillman looking forward to putting hip issue behind him in first spring start - Baltimore Sun

Is Chris Tillman a top of the rotation starter or not? A hip issue won’t help him pitch like one for the Orioles.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris tillman, orioles

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Orioles sign Pedro Alvarez to one-year deal

The Baltimore Orioles have signed first baseman Pedro Alvarez, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Dennis Lin.

The deal is for one year, reports FOX Sports’s Ken Rosenthal. Alvarez will receive $5.75 million in salary and can earn $1.5 million in performance bonuses, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

Well, that’s something.

Gamingboy Posted: March 08, 2016 at 12:22 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: alvarez, orioles

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Posnanski: No. 36: Cal Ripken

The countdown resumes.

It took the mad genius of Earl Weaver to see a future for this guy at shortstop. Ripken had always been a third baseman. In 1981 and early 1982, when Ripken came to the big leagues, he was a third baseman. But Weaver was aching to move the kid to shortstop. No one in the organization agreed with him — not one person. But 1982 was Weaver’s last year as manager, and he didn’t give a $*$%* what anyone thought even before he became a lame duck. On July 2, he put Ripken at shortstop to stay.  For once in his $*%%&$# life, Earl Weaver wanted to have a $&#$* shortstop who could $&%&$ hit.

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 02, 2016 at 10:12 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: cal ripken jr, lists, orioles, posnanski

Monday, February 29, 2016

PrintMore EXTRA MUSTARD Adam Jones, Orioles to end post-game pie celebrations

Pies in the face are the 3rd leading killer among men aged 18-34. Spread awareness!

Adam Jones and the Baltimore Orioles will no longer celebrate walk-off victories with a pie in the face due to safety reasons, the star outfielder announced.

For the last few seasons, Jones would surprise players by pieing them in the face as they conducted post-game television interviews.

Jones shared his disappointment with the decision but looked to find a way to continue his partnership with a local bakery.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 29, 2016 at 05:02 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, orioles

Friday, February 26, 2016

Dan Duquette on comments by Casey Close | MLB.com

Again, why didn’t Close refute the initial report?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2016 at 11:14 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dan duquette, orioles

Dexter Fowler’s fiasco with Orioles raises a lot of questions | FOX Sports

Why didn’t Close refute the signing when the reports first showed up in the media?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2016 at 06:00 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: dexter fowler, orioles

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