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Pirates place Jung Ho Kang on restricted list

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After receiving a suspended sentence for his third DUI charge, it was expected Jung Ho Kang would soon find his way to spring training, but according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Pirates have opted to place Jung Ho Kang on the MLB’s restricted list as he continues to await a resolution to the holdup on his visa.

The restricted list is typically utilized to retain the rights of players who retire at an early age or remain unable to join the team because of legal or personal issues. In any case, this designation will effectively keep a player from counting against the team’s 25- and 40-man rosters as well as remove the team’s obligation to pay his salary.

For Kang, this doesn’t mean he will be unable to return to Pittsburgh this season, but it does ultimately suggest Kang’s timeline for a return has become murky enough to cause the Pirates to take the next step in preparing for his continued absence when the season begins.

As a result, some combination of David Freese, Adam Frazier and Josh Harrison will man the hot corner this April while both Phil Gosselin and Alen Hanson will likely be carried on the 25 man roster unless the team is persuaded by Jose Osuna’s spring performance to give him preference over the former.