UPDATE: The Pirates announced that Kang had surgery tonight for a displaced lateral tibial plateau fracture and also required a lateral meniscal repair. The estimated recovery time is 6-8 months, so he could miss the early part of the 2016 season.
7:18 p.m. ET: When Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was injured on a takeout slide from Chris Coghlan in today’s game against the Cubs, it was easy to think the worst. Unfortunately for the Pirates, the worst-case scenario has been confirmed.
Dejan Kovacevic of DKPittsburghSports.com reports (via Bob Nightengale of USA Today) that Kang will miss the remainder of the season due to a fractured tibial plateau and a torn MCL in his left knee. The injury will require surgery.
The injury is obviously a brutal blow for the Pirates. Kang has had an excellent first season stateside, batting .287/.355/.461 with 15 home runs and 58 RBI over 126 games. He has also held his own defensively between shortstop and third base. Jordy Mercer will function as Pittsburgh’s regular shortstop the rest of the way.
As for the takeout slide from Coghlan, Kang issued the following statement through his agent:
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.