The latest from baseball’s Central divisions…
- The Brewers have shown interest in signing free-agent infielder Jung Ho Kang to a minor league contract, but it doesn’t appear an agreement will come together before the Triple-A season runs out. The two sides are “bogged down in visa issues,” according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It’s unclear what exactly is causing the problem, but Kang did miss almost all of the 2018 season while with the Pirates because he had difficulty securing a visa on the heels of a third DUI arrest in his homeland of South Korea. Kang returned last year, though, and then re-signed with the Pirates for a $3MM guarantee in November. It proved to be a poor investment for Pittsburgh, which released the 32-year-old Kang in early August after he hit .169/.222/.395 in 185 plate appearances.
- More from Haudricourt, who tweets Brewers right-hander Brandon Woodruff still isn’t expected to rejoin the club before the middle of September. But Woodruff, who suffered an oblique injury July 21, is making progress. He moved his throwing program to 120 feet off flat ground Friday, which Haudricourt notes is the final step before he returns to the mound. The absence of Woodruff, who has unquestionably been the Brewers’ top starter this year, is an obvious reason why they’re drifting from NL Central and wild-card contention. The 26-year-old Woodruff has broken out with a 3.75 ERA/3.09 FIP and 10.4 K/9 against 2.22 BB/9 over 117 2/3 innings.
- Twins center fielder Byron Buxton is nearing a rehab assignment, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com writes. Buxton hit the IL on Aug. 3 with a left shoulder subluxation – a product of the all-out effort with which he plays. The 25-year-old crashed into the outfield wall while trying to rob Milwaukee catcher Yasmani Grandal of an extra-base hit. Unfortunately for Buxton, not only did he fail to come up with the ball, but he’ll end up missing at least a few weeks because of the attempt. Injuries have been an issue all summer for Buxton, who has gone on the IL three times since June. When healthy, though, this has been a highly productive season for Buxton, owner of a .262/.314/.513 line with 10 home runs, 14 stolen bases and 2.6 fWAR in 295 plate appearances.
- Royals southpaw Danny Duffy will begin a rehab stint at the Double-A level Sunday, Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star relays. A left hamstring strain has kept Duffy out of action since Aug. 3, when Minnesota lit him up for nine runs (eight earned) and four homers across 4 2/3 innings. This has been the second disappointing season in a row for Duffy, who has only managed a 4.93 ERA/5.13 FIP in 100 1/3 frames.