Dominican trainer Enrique Soto accused by three of sexual abuse

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Baseball America points out a chilling investigative report by Alicia Ortega of Noticias Sin in the Dominican Republic.  Three players, one of whom was later stabbed to death, have accused powerful Domincan trainer Enrique Soto of sexually assaulting them.

Soto was arrested in January, but he was released on bond in June.

Yunior Pena Peguero was one of the players accusing Soto in Ortega’s report.  He says he had received death threats as a result of coming forward, and on June 26, he was stabbed to death in Bani, which is where Soto runs his program.  He said Soto sexually assaulted him at age 15, and that he later developed a drug addiction and attempted suicide.  He was 22 when he was killed.

It was the accusations from the other two interviewed that resulted in Soto’s arrest in January.  Neither had their names revealed in the report.

According to Baseball America, Soto has trained such major leaguers as Miguel Tejada, Erick Aybar and Willy Aybar.  He has denied all of the allegations against him and says it’s part of a blackmail scheme.

Yasiel Puig was late to a workout on Monday, so Dave Roberts benched him

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Earlier, Craig wrote about how Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in manager Dave Roberts’ doghouse once again. Puig didn’t slide into second base when he was caught stealing to end Saturday’s game, which irked Roberts.

Puig didn’t earn himself any brownie points on Monday as he was late to a team workout and was benched as a result, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Roberts said, “That was a decision he made, not me.” Roberts added that he was disappointed in Puig, though he did note that the former All-Star’s behavior has been improved for most of the season.

Puig, 26, has had a solid season, batting .259/.339/.474 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, 66 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 554 plate appearances. While he hasn’t provided value on the same level as Justin Turner or Corey Seager, he’s been a valuable part of the lineup which makes this drama all the more unfortunate with just a week and a half before the start of the NLDS.

MLB, MLBPA grant Pirates exemption for Jung Ho Kang to participate in Dominican Winter League

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates were granted an exemption by Major League Baseball and the players’ union which will allow infielder Jung Ho Kang to participate in the Dominican Winter League without being removed from the restricted list.

Kang, 30, has been denied a visa by the Department of State as a result of his third DUI in South Korea last September. Kang was also under investigation in 2015 for alleged sexual assault.

Kang is under contract through the end of 2018 and the Pirates have a club option for the 2019 season as well, so it makes sense they would try to get him into some type of baseball action ahead of next season. The infielder has hit .273/.355/.483 in 837 plate appearances across two seasons in the majors. As Brink notes, Kang has already arrived to the Dominican Republic and will work out with his team, Aguilas Cibaenas, ahead of the start of the season on October 20.