By Jason Shetler
The wait is finally over, as the Pirates have officially activated Jung-Ho Kang from the disabled list.
Kang had been recovering from a torn lateral meniscus and a fractured tibia that he sustained last September on a controversial slide at second base by outfielder Chris Coghlan. The 29-year-old native of South Korea participated in minor league games at Pirate City during Spring Training. He began the season on a rehab assignment with AAA Indianapolis where he played in 13 games. The Pirates optioned Jason Rogers back to Indy late Wednesday night, which appeared to be an indication that Kang would be rejoining the club. The news of his return broke Thursday on Francisco Cervelli’s Instagram account with Cervelli and Kang sitting on a plane together heading to St. Louis.
2015 marked one of the best rookie seasons in Pirates history, as Kang posted an .816 OPS along with an OPS+ of 124 and a 4.0 WAR in 126 games played. He finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, the highest finish by a Pirates rookie since Warren Morris in 1999.