Carlos Gonzalez to rest sprained finger for a few days

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Carlos Gonzalez is expected to avoid the disabled list, but he will give his sprained finger some time off after exiting Wednesday’s game with the injury, the Denver Post’s Troy Renck reports.

Gonzalez has been dealing with a sprained left middle finger for weeks and opted out of the Home Run Derby because of it. He tried resting it for four days last week, and he went 5-for-5 after returning to Colorado’s lineup on Monday. However, it wasn’t enough to take care of the injury once and for all.

Gonzalez leads the NL with a .965 OPS this year, and he was on top in homers, too, before the finger injury became a bigger factor. He has just one since the All-Star break, and Domonic Brown has overtaken him for the NL lead, 27-26.

When Gonzalez stole two bases on Monday, it gave him his fourth straight 20 HR-20 SB season. The only active players with more career 20-20 seasons are Carlos Beltran (seven), Alex Rodriguez (six) and Hanley Ramirez (five). Jimmy Rollins and Alfonso Soriano also have four apiece.

Jung Ho Kang granted work visa to re-enter the U.S.

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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that third baseman Jung Ho Kang has been granted a work visa and will soon rejoin the Pirates. Kang had previously not been allowed to enter the U.S. after he was arrested for his third DUI in Seoul in December 2016.

There was some thought that Kang wouldn’t ever play for the Pirates again, but things have worked out in his favor. It will still likely be a while until he actually appears in a major league game, as he will need to get back into game shape and up to game speed.

Pirates president Frank Coonelly said, “After a lengthy process, we are pleased that Jung Ho has been allowed to re-enter the United States. We are encouraged by the steps that Jung Ho has taken to date and are hopeful that having the games he loves taken away from him for more than a year has driven home the reality that he must make better life decisions as we move forward together.

As we have communicated to him throughout this process, we will work to provide Jung Ho with the resources and support necessary for him to meet the high expectations that we have for him as a member of our organization and our community.”

The Pirates signed Kang as an international free agent out of South Korea to a four-year, $11 million contract in January 2015. If he were to appear in the majors this season, he would earn a prorated $3 million. He has a club option for next season worth $5.5 million with a $250,000 buyout.