Jung Ho Kang released by Dominican Winter League team
By Marty Leap
The saga of Jung Ho Kang took yet another twist on Monday morning
After spending the entirety of the 2017 season on the restricted list due to an offseason DUI in South Korea, Pirate third baseman Jung Ho Kang hoped to log at-bats and innings at third base this winter. This led to Jung Ho Kang signing with the Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League.
Unfortunately for Jung Ho Kang, things did not go well in Dominican Winter League play. And, to be frank, Kang struggling should not have come as a surprise. After all, he had not faced live pitching or played in a game in over a calendar year.
The struggles of Kang led to him being released by the Aguilas Cibaenas on Monday morning.
During Winter League play, Jung Ho Kang hit just .143 with a single home run. In 24 games played, he struck out 31 times, was tied for the team lead in errors, and he had not played since last Wednesday. It goes without saying that things did not go well for Kang in the Dominican Winter League.
Despite these struggles, it would have been great to see Kang last the entirety of the Dominican Winter League season just to get live game reps. Unfortunately, this did not happen and now he will head back to his native South Korea.
While Neal Huntington and the Pirates remain hopeful that Jung Ho Kang will be granted a work via for the 2018 season, this remains unlikely. As I have stated in the past, I would be shocked if Kang ever plays Major League Baseball again.
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The uncertainty around Kang has led to the Pirates searching for other third base options. Hopefully, Neal Huntington will be able to address third base this offseason as the team’s current third base options of David Freese, Max Moroff, and Sean Rodriguez are not good enough to play on an everyday basis.