Pirates’ Bae Ji-hwan dealing with hip injury, unlikely to make Opening Day roster

Bae Ji-hwan of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a single against the Toronto Blue Jays during a spring training game at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida, March 5. AP-Yonhap

Bae Ji-hwan of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a single against the Toronto Blue Jays during a spring training game at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida, March 5. AP-Yonhap

Pittsburgh Pirates utility player Bae Ji-hwan is dealing with a hip injury that will likely keep him out of the Opening Day roster later this month.

MLB.com reported Wednesday (U.S. local time) that Bae is making progress in his rehab of a left hip flexor injury, but there’s no timetable for his return yet.

The 24-year-old Korean hasn’t played in spring training since March 5.

Bae Ji-hwan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, right, steals second base against the Toronto Blue Jays during a spring training game at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida, March 5. AP-Yonhap

Bae Ji-hwan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, right, steals second base against the Toronto Blue Jays during a spring training game at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida, March 5. AP-Yonhap

According to the report, Bae is playing catch and doing lunges and jumps, among other workouts. The Pirates are expected to reevaluate Bae’s condition later this week.

The Pirates will open their regular season against the Miami Marlins on March 28, and Bae’s status for the first day of the new campaign remains murky because he hasn’t played in more than a week.

Bae made his major league debut with the Pirates in 2022 and played just 10 games then. In 2023, Bae appeared in 111 games and posted a .231/.296/.311 line with a team-high 24 steals.

The versatile defender appeared at three positions last year: second base, shortstop and center field. (Yonhap)

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