Just hours before they entered the All-Star break in first place in the American League East, the Orioles might have lost one of their most consistent hitters in Hyun Soo Kim.
Kim left Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with a strained right hamstring he sustained running out a ground ball in the first inning. Joey Rickard took over for him in left field.
“I felt a stinging pain as I was running,” Kim told Mid-Atlantic Sports Network through interpreter Danny Lee. “I talked to the trainer and decided to leave the game upon agreement.”
Kim will undergo tests Monday to determine the severity of the injury. He’s hopeful he can return after the break Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
After the groundout, he’s hitting .329. He had been playing almost every day in left field for the Orioles after a rough spring put his roster status in question.
“Going through the first half it was very exciting for both the team and me,” Kim told MASN. “But ending the first half like this with a possible injury was not a pleasing thing. So I’ll focus on getting back on the field with healthy status.”
Lee told manager Buck Showalter that Kim suffered a similar injury last season in South Korea, and he returned to play after a few days. If he misses time, Rickard and Nolan Reimold should platoon in his spot until he returns.
“That’s kind of been our forte the last few years — having guys step up in big spots — so I’m sure we’ll have someone who can fill in for him,” first baseman Chris Davis said. “I thought Nolan had a pretty good first half, and Joey obviously got off to a huge start and has had some good at-bats lately, but you’re not going to replace a guy like Kimmy.”