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Report: Chicago police are investigating Jung Ho Kang for a sexual assault allegation

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Stacy St. Clair and David Heinzmann of the Chicago Tribune are reporting that Chicago police are investigating Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang over a sexual assault allegation. The Pirates were in Chicago to face the Cubs between June 17 and 19 last month. The incident allegedly took place after the game on the 17th.

[Content note: The following contains the description of the alleged assault.]

The police say Kang met a woman in Chicago through Bumble, which is a dating app that pairs users based on location, but the catch is that only women can start the conversation. Kang invited the woman to his hotel room in an upper-scale part of Chicago. The woman claims Kang served her an alcoholic drink, which caused her to black out 15 to 20 minutes later. Kang allegedly sexually assaulted her as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

Both the Pirates and Major League Baseball are aware of the situation. Major League Baseball issued a statement which said, “Our understanding is that police in Chicago are investigating this very serious matter. Major League Baseball will monitor the progress of this investigation closely and will respond fully as additional facts emerge.”

Pirates president Frank Coonelly issued this statement:

“We have been made aware of the allegation that has been made against Jung Ho Kang. We take allegations of this type extremely seriously. Pursuant to the Joint MLB/MLBPA Policy on such matters, this matter is exclusively before the Commissioner’s Office at this time. We have and will continue to cooperate fully with the Commissioner’s Office. As a result of the ongoing police investigation, we cannot comment further at this time. We have also advised our staff and our players that they should not comment on the matter either. We all need to be respectful to the police investigation of a very serious allegation.”

Commissioner Rob Manfred has the authority to levy a punishment whether or not Kang is officially charged with a crime by police, as we saw with the Jose Reyes situation.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.