Kang not expected to be ready Opening Day

Updated: March 23, 2017

Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington announced today that the Pirates do not expect their troubled third-baseman Jung Ho Kang will be ready to play on Opening Day. Kang has still not left South Korea, where he faced a DUI hearing last month, as he struggles to get a work visa from the United States.

Per a KDKA report published Thursday afternoon, Huntington said:

“We’re pretty much there,” GM Neal Huntington said of the deadline when Kang would need to be in camp to play. “The reality is as hard as he’s working, to think that we will be able to get him ready to go in 7-10 days is unrealistic.”

At this point, it is believed that David Freese will serve as starting third baseman while Kang’s situation plays out, but John Jaso has also begun playing the position. Huntington also discussed several other players, including World Baseball Classic participant Josh Harrison, playing third:

“While he will be tough to back-fill for, having David Freese be able to go play third base on a regular basis,” Huntington said of his options at third. “Obviously, what Adam Frazier is doing this spring. Hanson is having a nice spring. Gosselin is having a nice spring. We look forward to getting Josh (Harrison) back in here and we’ll fill and go with the 25 guys we have to go north with, and feel good about it.”

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