Pirates general manager Neal Huntington on Thursday confirmed the obvious: Thirdbaseman Jung Ho Kang won't be ready for opening day.
“We’re to a point in time where it’s unrealistic to think Jung Ho’s going to be ready for opening day,” Huntington said (via the PIttsburgh Post-Gazette). “We remain optimistic we’re going to get him here hopefully sooner than later. Now the challenge is if we don’t, if it takes some time, we’ve built this club and feel good about the guys we have here.”
With the legal issues hanging over Kang, the Pirates extended David Freese last summer and traded for Phil Gosselin this spring. The Pirates open the season April 3 at Boston.
Kang, who reportedly has appealed his sentence on a DUI conviction,remains in South Korea awaiting a visa so he can enter the U.S., according to the report.
Kang batted .255/.354/.513with21 homers and 62 RBIs in 103games in 2016.