Monday, March 21, 2005

Byung-Hyun Done

(BDD Photo)

Byung Hyun Kim didn’t clock higher than 85 miles per hour in his one inning of work on Sunday, causing every collective Red Sox fan in attendance to dry heave all over the person in front of them. Terry Francona insists that Kim has solid movement on his breaking balls, but face it, he’s not going to succeed coming out a bullpen with a fastball juicier than a Fenway Frank.

"He was at 84 miles an hour," said one major league scout. "I thought my gun was stuck. He might have touched 85. He's just a shadow of the pitcher he was in Arizona. This is a guy who threw in the 90s when he was in Arizona, and his slider had incredible movement. Now, his slider is flat.”

Great news for Red Sox Nation. Everyone remembers when Kim blew multiple saves in the 2001 World Series in Yankee Stadium, and even though the D’Backs won the Series, Kim has never been the save. He shuffled out of Arizona after mightily struggling the next season, then appeared to find a home in Boston before he stunk the joint up. Even Johnny Pesky was displeased.

The scout also said: "He's a very, very marginal pitcher right now. I wouldn't give the Red Sox $500,000 for him, and they want a player back because they're willing to eat the money."

Kim’s contract isn’t exactly slim either. The Red Sox owe him 6 million this year in the last season of his contract (there is a God). Few teams have shown interest in Kim, and the Sox may have no choice but to try him out of the bullpen in early April to replace a roster spot. You can tell I’m extremely excited about this.

As you can see, he hasn’t been the same pitcher since the 2001 World Series. Will he ever go back to being one of the top closers in baseball, or someone even remotely close to that? I’m afraid not.

For some good news, this is coming from Boston Dirt Dogs: Schilling says he "felt good" and was comfortable during his minor league session today. He threw only 18 pitches over the first two innings, 38 pitches total, but was tagged for a couple of doubles and a 2-run home run by Chip Ambres in the third inning. Bill Mueller led off every inning against Curt who had three strike outs and no walks on the day. After his stint today, Curt also confirmed that he is not ready to pitch Opening Night.

(Quotes courtesy of Gordon Edes' article in today's Globe).


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