The Pirates have announced that they will place third baseman Jung Ho Kang on the 15-day DL and will recall first baseman Josh Bell to take his place on the active roster. Kang sustained a left shoulder injury while sliding into second base during yesterday’s game against the Marlins.
Kang has batted a robust .243/.326/.481 in 267 plate appearances this year, although those numbers have dipped and his defense has flagged in the past two months (although he has three home runs in the past week). He has also faced allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in a Chicago hotel earlier this summer.
With Kang on the shelf, David Freese will likely take most of the Pirates’ playing time at third base. Meanwhile, Bell will likely share time with John Jaso at first. Bell, one of the Bucs’ top prospects, had a brief stint in the Majors earlier in the summer and didn’t disappoint, reaching base in all four of his plate appearances and hitting a grand slam. But the Pirates opted to return him to the minors and continue playing Jaso, despite Jaso’s underwhelming performance at the plate. For the season, Bell has batted .295/.382/.468 at Triple-A Indianapolis, although his glove, rather than his bat, appeared to be the main source of the Pirates’ reluctance to give him regular playing time.