The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on April 17 that infielder Jung Ho Kang will begin his rehab assignment with the team’s Triple-A affiliate, though it is uncertain when he will be able to return to MLB action.  

Continue for updates.

Kang to Make Minor League Debut on Monday

Sunday, April 17

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Bill Brink, a single rehab assignment lasts 20 days at the most, but the Pirates could pause Kang’s stint in the minors or begin a new one altogether in order to ensure he’s 100 percent by the time he’s with the big league team again.

Kang far exceeded expectations in his first season in MLB, eventually finishing third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. In 126 games, he had a .287/.355/.461 slash line with 15 home runs and 58 runs batted in.

According to FanGraphs, Kang’s 3.9 WAR was second-highest among the Pirates’ position players. His four-year, $11 million deal looks like a massive steal, even if his production drops slightly in his sophomore season.

Kang’s knee injury and fractured leg were the only blemishes on an otherwise impressive rookie year. His season ended on Sept. 17 in a 9-6 defeat to the Chicago Cubs after he got taken out at second base by Chris Coghlan:

In December, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington eyed an April return for Kang, but the player himself couldn’t say definitively in February whether he’d be healthy enough to play on Opening Day.

In addition to his offensive value, Kang gives the Pirates some defensive versatility. According to, he spent 77 games at third base and 60 games at shortstop in 2015. 

Given the Chicago Cubs’ hot start, Pittsburgh needs Kang back in the lineup in order to climb up the National League Central standings.

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