SARASOTA, Fla. -- South Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon has yet to pitch in a Grapefruit League game and likely won’t until late next week at the earliest.
Yoon is slated to spend most of next week in Canada obtaining his work visa. He will fly to Ottawa on Sunday and has an interview appointment on Monday morning. That process is expected to take a few days, but it beats the alternative of Yoon traveling back to South Korea to get his visa – which would involve lengthy travel and missing extended time in camp.
Without his visa, Yoon can’t pitch in Grapefruit League games.
“It’s been kind of difficult,” Yoon said through interpreter Justin Yoo. “I’ve been ready for quite some time but I still feel like I’m going to throw a few times during spring.”
Yoon will likely pitch in a simulated game over the weekend, possibly Saturday, so he can finally see hitters and work in a game situation.
Asked whether he thinks the visa delay hurts his chances of making the team on Opening Day – there is a clause in his contract that allows the Orioles to send him to the minors to open the season – he said he believes he will be ready.
In his brief time in Orioles camp, Yoon added that he’s seen one major difference between pitching in South Korean and the United States.
“The one thing I’ve noticed is that the atmosphere is a lot better here and the players here, they take it upon themselves to workout individually on their weaknesses,” Yoon said. "That’s been the biggest difference for me.”