Last December, Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang crashed a BMW into a guard rail and fled the scene. He reportedly had a blood alcohol level at 0.084 percent, which was over South Korea’s legal limit of 0.05 percent. It was his third drunk driving offense in Korea and led to an eight month suspended sentence. It also led to him being denied a visa to come to the United States to play baseball.
But while he can’t get over here, the Pirates are not giving up on him, it seems. Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that they’re trying to get him some playing time in the Dominican Winter League.
It’s a sensible move if the Pirates think that Kang will be able to come back to the U.S. to play in 2018 — he hasn’t played baseball of any kind since last season — but it’s hard to see how he’ll get a visa to come here to play. Especially in the current political climate in which visas, especially for those with criminal records, can be expected to be much harder to come by.
The Cardinals have placed right-hander Carlos Martinez on the 10-day disabled list with a right oblique strain, per a team announcement on Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 20. No definite timetable has been set for his return to the rotation yet, but interim manager Mike Shildt told reporters he feels confident that Martinez will only need to skip one start before taking the mound again.
Martinez, 26, sustained the injury while trying to snare a line drive during Thursday’s 9-6 loss to the Cubs. It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the righty this season, as he lost nearly four weeks to a right lat strain and pitched to a 5.32 ERA after returning to the Cardinals’ roster in early June. Overall, however, his numbers look a little stronger: He’s 6-6 in 17 starts with a 3.39 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 through 95 2/3 innings.
In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever John Brebbia has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis. The 28-year-old Brebbia has already enjoyed three short-lived stints in the majors this season; he currently holds a cumulative 4.13 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 9.9 SO/9 and two saves in 32 2/3 innings with the club.