Park Hoy-jun sent to minors after difficult start to season
The Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday optioned Park Hoy-jun to Triple-A affiliate Indianapolis after the sophomore big leaguer got off to a slow start to the 2022 MLB season.
Park, who joined the Pirates last year after making a single appearance with the New York Yankees, has appeared in five games this season, batting .214 over 14 at bats.
In defense he has continued to play as a utility man, appearing in multiple positions in the infield and right field.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton made it clear that Park was being sent down so that he would have the opportunity to get more consistent playing time, with the club still very interested in bringing him back up to the big leagues when he’s ready.
Park became the 25th Korean player to debut in the majors on July 16 last year, appearing as a pinch hitter for the Yankees after spending years playing in the minors. The young infielder made a total of 45 appearances last season, finishing with 25 hits, 16 runs, 14 RBIs and three home runs for a .197 batting average.
Park’s departure leaves two Korean position players left in the majors: Choi Ji-man of the Tampa Bay Rays and Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres.
Both have got off to fairly promising starts so far this season. As of press time Monday, Choi is batting .351 with 13 hits, seven runs 10 RBIs and two home runs on his line, while Kim is batting .182 with six hits, eight runs, three RBIs and a home run.
Ryu Hyun-jin, the only Korean pitcher in the big leagues this season, is currently out of action with a forearm injury after getting off to a disappointing start in his two appearances so far this year.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]