It was made official on Sunday that Jung Ho Kang will play in the Dominican Winter League this offseason
Pittsburgh Pirates’ third baseman Jung Ho Kang has not played in a competitive baseball game since October 2, 2016. This is due to Kang spending the 2017 season on the restricted list. However, Kang will soon return to competitive baseball.
On Sunday, Pirate fans learned that Jung Ho Kang will play this winter in the Dominican Winter League. Kang playing in winter ball had been discussed earlier in the season, however, it was not known for certain if he would play winter ball or not until now.
Playing in the Dominican Winter League will be great for Jung Ho Kang. While he has been able to face batting machines and do baseball drills in South Korea while on the restricted list, Kang has not faced live pitching or gotten any game reps at third base. That will change this winter.
Jung Ho Kang will play for Aguilas Cibenas this winter. The club took to Twitter on Tuesday to post pictures and videos of Kang working out and taking batting practice.
It will be great for Kang to once again face live pitching, especially the high quality pitching he will see in the Dominican Winter League, as well as to log game reps at third base. Kang should have plenty of rust at this point but playing winter ball should help knock this rust off.
While it is great that Kang will be playing winter ball, unfortunately, he is not any closer to getting a work visa. Without a new work visa, he will not be able to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2018 either.
Getting Jung Ho Kang back in the heart of the Pirate batting order in 2018 would be a massive boost in the arm for the Bucs. Unfortunately, there remains no reason to expect that to happen.