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Pirates to reinstate Jung Ho Kang

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates are likely to reinstate Jung Ho Kang in time for tonight's game, Rob Biertempfel wrote yesterday. Kang is with the team in St. Louis. To clear space on their active roster, they've already optioned Jason Rogers to Indianapolis.

Kang, of course, has been out since early last September, when a slide by the Cubs' Chris Coghlan resulted in Kang having knee surgery. He's made a relatively quick recovery, and he hit .150/.217/.225 in a 13-game rehab assignment with Indianapolis.

With Kang returning to third base, David Freese will move into a bench role. He'll likely be expected to man the corner infield positions and to pinch-hit, particularly against lefties. That was a role Rogers previously had occupied, so there wasn't much use for him on the active roster. The Pirates still do have eight relievers on their 25-man roster, so it's possible Rogers' demotion won't be the Bucs' only move today -- they could recall a player from Indianapolis to get back to a five-man bench.