Baseball players of all positions will be reporting for spring training this week, but one guy won’t be among them. Jung Ho Kang, infielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, will be going on trial in South Korea on February 22 for charges stemming from his December DUI arrest. That’s five days after the Pirates’ first full-team workout, and so Kang won’t only be late, but no one has any idea when he will be able to report.
This trial originates from his December 2 arrest in South Korea for driving under the influence. While operating the vehicle, Kang got into an accident and then fled the scene. The police caught up to him soon after, and once they discovered that his blood alcohol level was .084, over the legal limit of .05, he was arrested.
That was Kang’s third DUI arrest in his home country of South Korea, which means his license will be (or has already been) revoked. He has also been cut from South Korea’s World Baseball Classic roster due to his arrest. There’s been no formal punishment issued by MLB or the Pirates yet, but Kang has agreed to enter an alcohol treatment program.
At this point, Kang is going to be out indefinitely since there’s no way to know how long the trial will take. Pirates president Frank Coonelly said as much in his statement on the matter.
Based on our current information, Jung Ho will not be in a position to report to camp by the 17th. According to our communications with his representatives, it is probable that he will have a trial in Korea on the DUI-related charges on February 22. It is not known how long the trial will last or when any sentencing phase that might be necessary would be scheduled.
We will continue to do whatever we can to assist he and his representatives in their efforts to resolve all necessary matters so that Jung Ho will be able to travel to the United States to prepare for and to play in the 2017 season, but his reporting date remains undetermined.
Since Kang will be out for an unknown amount of time, the Pirates decided to get themselves a little infield insurance. On Friday they traded minor league pitcher Frank Duncan to the Diamondbacks in exchange for infielder Phil Gosselin.
This isn’t the only time Kang has had trouble with the law recently. He was accused of sexual assault in July 2016 and was investigated by the Chicago Police Department. But that was the last anyone heard of that case. Kang wasn’t charged, and no further updates were given.
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