When could Jung Ho Kang rejoin the Pirates?
On a day of great turmoil for the Pirates organization, some semi-good news was announced, as Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Kang’s appeals hearing would be held May 25th before the Seoul Central District Court.
Kang has remained in Seoul, South Korea since March, when he was arrested following his third DUI conviction since 2009. He has been unable to attain a work visa from the United States government, and as such, has remained in his native country.
The Pirates had placed Kang on the restricted list in March, which essentially means that he is not occupying a roster spot, nor is he taking a paycheck from the Pirates.
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This is the second incident involving Kang in a year; he was previously involved with a sexual-assault claim in Chicago last year, however, he was not charged in that case.
Kang joined the Pirates in 2015 and has been one of the most productive hitters on the team since then. Kang has recorded a .273 BA with 36 HR and 120 RBI, along with a .355 OBP and a .483 SLG.
To keep him in shape and his baseball skills sharp, the Pirates recently sent Kang a pitching machine, since Kang has not seen a pitch since October.
Since he has not joined the Pirates this season, his duties at third base have been taken over by David Freese, who so far this year has recorded a .333 BA along with 2 HR and 5 RBI.
It will be interesting to see how this is all resolved in the end for Jung Ho Kang, if he returns to the United States this year, if he plays for the Pirates this year. If he doesn’t, what becomes the situation in South Korea? Does he face any sort of prison time?
What happens to his reputation in all this? Like with anything else involving pro athletes, we will just have to wait and see what the outcome is.