In the wake of Boston’s first championship in 86 years, it seems a bit nitpicky to go looking for Theo Epstein moves that haven’t paid off. That’s why I am more than happy to let the Providence Journal’s Steve Krasner do the work for me.
No more excuses.
The language. The culture differences. Youth.
Certainly, said Red Sox manager Terry Francona, those could be seen as factors in why right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim has been a mystifying underachiever since joining Boston in a trade from Arizona for Shea Hillenbrand on May 29, 2003.
But this is 2005. It’s spring training. The former ace closer for the Diamondbacks, who had some glittering moments for Boston in 2003, has to show either the Red Sox or another team in the market for a pitcher that he can still get out major-league hitters.
Kim, 26, spent most of last year in Pawtucket, with time out on the disabled list for shoulder troubles and a trip back to his native Korea to consult physicians there.
“His arm looks like it’s got some life in it, but if I tell you how spring will end for BK I’d be lying,” said Francona yesterday before the Sox’ 5-4 win over Philadelphia at City of Palms Park.
“If he pitches like he can, he can help us win. It’s time for BK to pitch well. He has been talked to. (General manager) Theo (Epstein) sent him home. Theo bent over backwards for him. You can talk, coddle, yell. It’s time for BK to pitch.”
Kim pitched yesterday, with so-so results.
He sailed through his first inning, retiring all three batters he faced. He ran into trouble in his second inning, though. After surrendering a leadoff double to right-center to Jim Thome, Kim walked three straight batters, forcing in a run. Of his 13 pitches to those hitters, 12 were outside the strike zone, according to plate umpire Tim Tschida. Kim the fanned Todd Pratt and retired Tomas Perez on an RBI grounder to the right side before being lifted by Francona. He threw 39 pitches in his 1 2/3 innings.