By Rob Biertempfel
BRADENTON, Fla. — Andrew McCutchen came back from the World Baseball Classic with a gold medal … and a case of laryngitis. “I’m a little hoarse,” McCutchen said. “It was a heck of a lot of fun. So much that I lost my voice.”
Josh Harrison also was in the clubhouse this morning. Like McCutchen, Harrison wore his gold medal from the tournament. “It was exciting. My first time in international play. Just the environment with the crowds was something. We’re used to noise, but not with a band playing the whole time. I liked it. It was an experience I won’t forget.”
On March 3, Kang was convicted for driving under the influence in a Dec. 2 incident near Seoul and received a eight-month jail term. Although Kang’s prison sentence was suspended, it hampers his chances of being approved for a work visa.
Naver Sports reported on Friday morning that Kang’s visa request was not approved.
Kang has appealed his sentence in hopes of receiving a lighter penalty that could aid his chances of getting a work visa. A decision is expected within the next few weeks, according to The Korea Times.
The Pirates did not immediately respond to a request for a statement on Kang’s status. Manager Clint Hurdle was asked about Kang during an interview with MLB Network Radio. “Your information is about the same as what I’ve got,” Hurdle said. “We are staying in contact with Jung Ho and in contract with his interpreter. We’re focusing on the men we have here. That’s the best I can tell you. We’d love to have him back (but) we don’t have him back. We’re going to adapt and continue to pull … (and see) if this can come to some type of conclusion that’s profitable for both sides down the road.”
This was Kang’s third DUI conviction in South Korea. He also was under investigation by Chicago police for an alleged sexual assault incident last June.
Kang signed a four-year, $11 million contract with the Pirates in January 2015. Because he is under contract, Kang cannot play for another team in South Korea without permission from the Pirates.
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>>> Friday’s game: Rays at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root.
Rays: Logan Morrison 3, Daniel Robertson 6, Chris Dickerson 7, Brad Miller 4, Curt Casali 2, Mallex Smith 8, Michael McKenry DH, Shane Peterson 9, Alec Sole 5 RHP Erasmo Ramirez. Also pitching for Rays: RH Diego Moreno, RH Danny Farquhar, RH Ryan Garton, RH Neil Wagner.
Pirates: Adam Frazier 7, Jordy Mercer 6, John Jaso 9, David Freese 5, Josh Bell 3, Phil Gosselin 4, Austin Meadows 8, Chris Stewart 2, RHP Trevor Williams 1. Also pitching for Pirates: LH Tony Watson, RH Daniel Hudson, LH Felipe Rivero, RH Juan Nicaso
>>> Saturday’s game: Tigers at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root. Tigers: Lineup TBA. RHP Anibal Sanchez. Also pitching for Tigers: LH Daniel Stumpf, RH Mark Lowe, LH Kyle Ryan Pirates: TBA. RHP Tyler Glasnow. Also pitching for Pirates: LH Steven Brault, RH Jared Hughes
>>> Sunday’s game: Pirates at Phillies, 1:05 p.m., Spectrum Field, Clearwater. Radio: 93.7 FM. Pirates: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA. Phillies. Lineup TBA. RHP Clay Buchholz. Also pitching for Phillies: RH Hector Neris, RH Luis Garcia, RH Joaquin Benoit
>>> Monday’s game: Twins at Pirates, 6:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM Twins: Lineup TBA. RHP Phil Hughes. Also pitching for Twins: LH Buddy Boshers, RH Michael Tonkin, RH J.T. Chargois. Pirates: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA.
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.