Rodriguez, Kang Both Could be Back by End of Season

Director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk speaks about team's injuries.

Noah Hiles
August 22, 2018 - 9:44 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Prior to the start of their game on Wednesday against Atlanta, team Director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk spoke to the media about the current injury situations within the Pirates organization.

The two main players discussed were utility man, Sean Rodriguez and third basemen Jung Ho Kang.

Rodriguez, who has struggled at the plate in 2018 where he is hitting .163 with five homeruns and 18 RBI, was placed on the 10-day disabled list on August 7 with a left abdomen strain. Despite being eligible to return to the club since early last week, Rodriguez still remains on the DL. However, according to Tomczyk, the Pirates are taking steps to begin Rodriguez’s return.

“We are in the final stages of having conversations with Sean, Neal and Clint about what the next steps are,” said Tomczyk. “The next steps meaning engaging into some type of game activity.”

Tomczyk continued saying, “(Sean) has responded well to the short rehab, which was a little bit extended, but the next steps are being discussed as we speak.

Unlike Rodriguez, who has been with the Pirates for a majority of the 2018, Kang has not played a game in the major leagues since 2016 due to a combination of legal issues that he faced last year and ongoing wrist injuries this season. Despite early reports that indicated he would miss the remainder of the 2018 season, Tomczyk says that doctors have cleared Kang following his surgery and cleared him to resume all gripping type activities.

“The short term goal for this week is to have him pick up a bat by the end of the week and we will see where that takes us” said Tomczyk. “We are still hopeful and optimistic that (Kang) will have some meaningful at bats, whether if that will be in Triple-A or the in the big leagues with us by the end of this season.”