It was a little curious when Carlos Beltran was not on the lineup card for today’s game against the Phillies, but the intrigue didn’t last too long.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Beltran is out with flu-like symptoms. Scott Hairston will start in his place in right field this afternoon and bat third against left-hander Cole Hamels.
Beltran, one of the most coveted bats on the trade market this month, hit a long solo home run to distant center field in last night’s loss to the Phillies. He’s batting .287/.381/.512 with 14 homers and a .893 OPS in 381 plate appearances this season. Perhaps the most surprising statistic of all is that he leads the Mets with 90 games played.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have signed Steve Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million.
Pearce, 33 had some health issues in 2016, but he hit .288/.374/.492 across 302 plate appearances when he was on the field and he mashes lefties in particular. Pearce is versatile as well, logging time at first base, second base, right field, left field, and DH in 2016 while splitting time between the Rays and Orioles.
Last week Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was arrested in South Korea for driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. That’s bad, but it turns out that it’s nothing new. The Yonhapnews Agency reports that Kang has been arrested for DUI three times since 2009:
Gangnam Police Station in southern Seoul confirmed that it was Kang’s third DUI arrest, with the three strikes law resulting in the immediate revocation of his license. According to police, Kang had also been arrested for a DUI in August 2009 and May 2011. No personal injuries were reported in either case, though he’d caused property damage in the latter incident.
The report also notes that a companion of Kang initially claimed that he, and not Kang, was behind the wheel at the time of the accident which led to Kang’s arrest last week. It was later revealed by the car’s black box, however, that Kang was driving. So add in some obstruction of justice, whether it is charged or not, to the scene. Police are investigating that.
Between all of this and the fact that Kang is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault in Chicago this past season, a pretty ugly portrait of the Pirates’ infielder is beginning to reveal itself.