Report: Pirates’ Kang denied visa to enter U.S.
Infielder recently was convicted of DUI in South Korea.
Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang reportedly was denied a visa to enter the United States after a DUI conviction, his third, resulted in a suspended sentence.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, who said Thursday it was “unrealistic” to expect Kang to be ready for opening day, did not respond on the report.
Kang was convicted of leaving the scene of a DUI arrest in December and sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for two years. He has appealed the sentence.
Pirates spring training began more than a month ago, but Kang missed the beginning to attend his trial and sentencing in Seoul, South Korea, where he was arrested Dec. 2 after crashing into a guard rail. His blood alcohol level was reportedly 0.084, above the Korean legal limit of 0.05.
Blue Jays: Second baseman Devon Travis played five innings of defense and had an RBI double Friday in his spring training debut. “It’s a big step right there,” he said. “My knee felt good. I’m excited.” Travis has been slowed by a bone bruise on his right knee. He had offseason surgery to remove a small flap of cartilage. His status for the start of the regular season has not been determined. Travis hit .300 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs in 101 games last season.
White Sox: Carlos Rodon was scratched from his spring start Friday due to left biceps tightness, and general manager Rick Hahn said the left-hander likely would begin the season on the disabled list. Rodon also had an MRI that showed no structural damage.
■ Chicago said left-hander Jose Quintana will start opening day against the Tigers.
Tigers: Right fielder J.D. Martinez is expected to miss the beginning of the season with a right foot injury. Martinez sprained his foot last weekend, and manager Brad Ausmus said he is expected to be out three to four weeks. Martinez hit .307 with 22 home runs and 68 RBIs in 120 games last season.
Indians: Right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall left Friday’s spring training game against the Cubs with an injury in the bottom of the second inning. Chisenhall hit the right-field wall while trying to track down a long fly ball off by Munenori Kawasaki. Chisenhall was shaken up but was able to get to his feet.
Rockies: Right-hander Jon Gray left his spring training start in the third inning Friday with soreness in his left foot. Gray went 2⅔ innings against San Francisco and gave up five runs before exiting the game. He could be the team’s starter when the season opens April 3 in Milwaukee.
Nationals: Second baseman Daniel Murphy thinks he will be ready for the start of the season, even with his lack of playing time in the World Baseball Classic. Nationals manager Dusty Baker is taking a wait-and-see approach. “You can talk all you want,” Baker said. “He wasn’t comfortable when he left and he didn’t get many ABs.” Murphy went hitless in six at-bats for gold medal-winning Team USA. Murphy doesn’t think he needs that many at-bats to be ready for the start of the season.
Cubs: The team wants Kyle Schwarber to catch in a game. Schwarber, who underwent surgery 11 months ago to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee, will start in left field this season but needs work as an emergency third catcher. “We’re still working on that,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It can even be in a minor league game. It doesn’t have to be here. We’re trying to pick the right time to get that done.”
The Pirates’ Jung Ho Kang, celebrating a homer in September, has yet to report to spring training in Florida.