As first reported by the Post-Gazette’s Stephen Nesbitt, the Pittsburgh Pirates have placed 3B Jung Ho Kang on the Restricted List
The Pittsburgh Pirates took an expected step by placing Jung Ho Kang on the restricted list. This, as per the team’s transactions page and first reported by the Post-Gazette’s Stephen Nesbitt.
With some sort of suspension handed down from Major League Baseball still on the table, the club likely used this move to guard against that uncertainty. Putting Kang on the restricted list will mean that he will not count towards the team’s 25 and 40-man roster. As Nesbitt notes, it is unclear if the club will pay him during this time.
With Kang already having missed a month of Spring Training, the Pittsburgh Pirates will now have to decide how they will approach the third base position in the team’s opening month. David Freese will ostensibly see the bulk of time at the hot corner, with Adam Frazier serving as the primary “backup” at the position while Kang is not with the team.
Kang took considerable strides in his second season despite playing in only 103 games as he rehabbed from the horrific knee injury caused by an errant Chris Coghlan slide in late-2015. Though Kang’s batting average by 33 points, his walk rate increased 3.7 percetange points to 9.7, with his strikeout rate seeing only a .2 percent increase (21.4 percent to 2015’s 21.2). He did this all while seeing a significant drop in BABIP (batting average on balls in play), down to .273, well below the National League average of .302.
He bested his 2015 home run total by six with 21 total, and improved his overall slugging to .513 – up from .461 in his American debut season. All told, Kang posted a 2.2 fWAR season, a very notable accomplishment in just 103 games.
Pirates Breakdown will have more on this as it develops.
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