PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Amid a Korean report that Jung-Ho Kang’s visa request was denied by the US Government, the reality hit home again at Pirate camp that they will need a third baseman to start the year.
“We’re good with our depth,” said manager Clint Hurdle. “We got a lot of players that we are focusing on there. We’ve moved a lot of men to third base. I like the options that we have.”
That is true, the following have played at third base this Spring for the Pirates—David Freese, Phil Gosselin, Adam Frazier, Gift Ngoepe, Jason Rogers, Alen Hanson, Jose Osuna and even John Jaso. That’s not to mention Josh Harrison, who has played 215 games in his career at third base.
David Freese is likely the main guy at third base, Freese said he will know more on Opening Day. The veteran said he has prepared this Spring as if nothing was going on with Kang.
“My focus has been doing what I do,” Hurdle said. “I’ve tried to explain that even if he was here, being out on the diamond and playing, my schedule would be pretty similar or the same. It’s honestly really none of my business at this point what is going on with Kang, I just have to focus on myself.”
Freese said the opportunity to play was part of the reason he re-signed with the Pirates in the off-season. Utility man Phil Gosselin said he saw that as well after he was traded to the Pirates from Arizona last month.
“I thought there would be some opportunities there with Jung-Ho, nobody still knows what is going to happen,” Gosselin said. “I’m glad they’ve given me chances to play all of the positions.”
“I know Dave is going to be the guy probably, depending on what happens to Jung-Ho,” Gosselin added. “Dave’s done a great job his whole career. I’m ready to go whenever they call my number. I feel confident at third. I’m ready to make some plays whenever the pitchers get them to hit me some ground balls.”