Two days into St. Louis Cardinals’ spring training, the club’s new South Korean pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun, 32, expressed his excitement at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Florida on Tuesday local time.
Everything about his dream league is new. On Kim’s first day of the spring training on the day, he showed up at the club house at 6:30 a.m., half an hour earlier than the appointed time. He had to wait since the club house was not open yet. After his personal training and media interviews were over, Kim did not leave immediately but waited until other players began to leave. “I’m only a first-year Major League player. I tried to read the atmosphere. When others started to leave, I took a shower and headed home,” Kim said with a smile. “I heard the most important thing is to be on time and follow rules.”
Kim had his first bullpen session on Tuesday. The Cardinals’ minor league catcher Jose Godoy, who has been invited to spring training, caught for Kim. The South Korean left-hander used 80-90 percent of his power in pitching some 50 fastballs and changeups. He threw quite a lot of pitches for his first bullpen pitching. The 32-year-old spoke with Godoy through a translator after the pitching and said, “I was told I needed a bit more torque,” he said. “I’ll make sure to enhance pitching torque and speed by building up my strength.”
The date for Kim’s spring training debut has been set. He will pitch against the New York Mets at the Roger Dean Stadium on Feb. 22. Kim is under a heavy pressure since it is the club’s first spring training match of the season. Kim is expected to pitch about two innings. Kim is scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Feb. 15 and live pitching on Feb. 19.
Hong-Gu Kang firstname.lastname@example.org