Go to contents

Japanese baseball team signs Korean reliever Kim

Posted December. 23, 2010 10:36,   


Will Korean pitcher Kim Byung-hyun, who has played in the U.S. Major League Baseball, join the ranks of Korean players active in Japan’s Pacific League?

The Osaka-based daily Sports Nippon said Wednesday that the Rakuten Eagles, which have given Kim a tryout over the past two days, will give him another tryout in Okinawa in February on the premise that he joins the team.

Kim fared poorly in tryouts last month as his fastball remained below 140 kilometers per hour. He threw few pitches and his chances of joining the Eagles seemed slim.

Yet Eagles manager Senichi Hoshino requested another tryout for Kim, saying it was difficult to judge a player who had not played for years.

Rakuten, which reinforced its hitting by bringing in Kazuo Matsui and Akinori Iwamura from the U.S. majors, views Kim as a potential closer. Kim won 54 games and posted 86 saves in the U.S.

After last month`s tryout, Kim expressed confidence over returning to form if he continues to practice. He is training in the U.S.