Polanco returns, hopes to boost offesne

Posted on Aug 2 2017 - 7:18pm by Joey Cinello
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Gregory Polanco looks to give the Pirates a boost after going down with an injury July 21. Photo Courtesy: Max Gelman/MLB.com

PITTSBURGH — Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco hasn’t seen game action since July 21. Tonight, the hot-hitting Polanco looks to revitalize a struggling lineup.

Polanco and the Pirates, each respectively coming off subpar first halves, came out firing on all cylinders early following the All-Star break, which narrowed the then-Milwaukee Brewers’ division lead to two games and surpassing .500 for the first time since April.

In addition to a few others, one man to thank for the push is the sometimes callow outfielder Polanco.

Polanco’s production at the plate was pedestrian at best in the first half — amassing a .258/.317./.404 slash line. However, the second half opened our eyes to the potential Polanco possesses. He showed a superb approach and consistently solid contact in most at bats. All of which equated to Polanco mashing the ball at a .367 second half clip while slugging .600, including four doubles and a long ball.

Right away Polanco’s absence became visible.

After exiting a game against the Colorado Rockies early 11 days ago, the team’s record then sat at 49-48. Fast forward to August 2, entering tonight’s game against the abysmal Cincinnati Reds, the Pirates are six games back and 51-54 overall.

Though they’re not out of it yet, getting Polanco back now may light a spark under a team that so desperately needs it.

Today, the Pirates official Twitter page announced the move.

As a corresponding move, young outfielder Jordan Luplow was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room on the 25-man roster.

Time will tell if the powerful outfield trio of Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Polanco can lead the Pirates back into division contention.

A lot of weight is placed on the Pirates outfield trio as the dog days of summer move forward. Photo Courtesy: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America

Trevor Williams will deliver the first pitch of tonight’s affair at 7:05 p.m.

Note: Relief pitcher Wade LeBlanc will not be available for the foreseen future as he was placed on the bereavement list today, prompting the Pirates to recall 24-year-old Dovydas Neverauskas.

 

Joe Cinello covers Pirates material for Pittsburgh Sports Castle. Connect with him on Facebook (Joey Cinello), Linkedin (Joseph Cinello) and Twitter (@JCinello).

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