Slumping South Korean infielder Hwang Jae-gyun has been demoted to the minor leagues by the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants made the move on Saturday (local time), with Hwang having lost his playing time at third base since the return of Eduardo Nunez from the disabled list.
The 29-year-old batted .167 with a home run and three RBIs in
13 games since getting called up in late June. He homered in his major league debut on June 28 but got mired in a 6-for-36 slump in July.
In Triple-A Sacramento, Hwang batted .262 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs in 76 games.
Hwang, who can also play first base and left field, spent the past 10 seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization and signed with the Giants in January.
Giants' manager Bruce Bochy said coming off the bench had been a challenge for Hwang, who was more used to playing on a regular basis in Korea.
"It's tough for him to be sitting and watching games and trying to get his timing," Bochy was quoted as saying on MLB.com "We'd like to get him playing on a consistent basis. We don't know what's going to happen. We do need him. He's not used to sitting on the bench."
Hwang's demotion leaves four South Koreans on 25-man major league rosters this season -- Texas Rangers' outfielder Choo Shin-soo, Baltimore Orioles' outfielder Kim Hyun-soo, St. Louis Cardinals' reliever Oh Seung-hwan and Los Angeles Dodgers' starter Ryu Hyun-jin.
Nunez is considered a trade candidate before the July 31 deadline, and the Giants have apparently been trying to showcase the 30-year-old since he came back from a hamstring injury. Other potential third base candidates for the Giants are on the mend, which would have cleared the path for Hwang, but the Giants recently reacquired their former All-Star third baseman Pablo Sandoval in a minor league deal. (Yonhap)