Jung Ho Kang’s second term in Pittsburgh has come to an end, being designated for assignment Friday afternoon.
Kang recorded a .617 OPS with 10 home runs, 24 RBI and -0.6 WAR in 185 plate appearances this year. While he did hit well immediately after being activated off the injured list in June, he fell into another rut recently, going 1-22 in his last 10 games played. Kang has one of the worst strikeout (32.4%) and swinging strike (16%) rates in the National League.
Kang was barred from entering the country in 2017 after being arrested for drunk driving in South Korea in Dec. 2016- his third such offense. After securing a work visa in 2018, he made a major league cameo in the final series of the season in Cincinnati. He played 65 games this year.
The Pirates made Kang their most expensive free agent pickup this offseason, signing him to a one year, $3 million deal with incentives.
SS Erik Gonzalez was activated off the 60-day IL and will take Kang’s place on the roster. Utilityman Pablo Reyes was also recalled from AAA, replacing the recently traded Corey Dickerson.