The Pittsburgh Pirates Don’t Have to Rush Polanco, Here’s Why


Feb 27, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco (62) runs against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Polanco-mania has reached new and terrifying heights recently.

Everyone from eager fans, to the “so-called” experts on 93.7 the fan are calling on the Pirates to bring up Polanco…and I mean yesterday!  

Don’t get me wrong, it’s essential to bring Polanco up.  I am just not under the opinion that if they don’t bring him up immediately it’s going to make that massive of an impact on the overall success of the season.

Reason being, is that in case you missed it, the Pirates are playing some pretty good baseball right now.  

Most people will look at that last sentence and say “what do you mean the Pirates are playing good baseball!  We’re 3 games under .500 and just lost a horrible game where we only gave up one hit!” (grumble, grumble)

What most of those people don’t know is that since April 30th, the Pirates have the 4th best win % in the National League.  Did you know that?  Probably not.  Did you see how we just went into Los Angeles and took 3 out of 4 in impressive fashion, including the clincher that saw Edinson Volquez out-duel Zack Greinke?   Did you know that we were only one hit away from going 6-1 in our last 7 games?  All on the road?

The Pirates went 10-16 in April, 15-14 in May and are now 3-1 in June.  Do you see a trend developing at all?  

What I just don’t understand is, how the “so-called” experts on 93.7 can say that it’s imperative to get Polanco up immediately because the Pirates are playing so poorly?  I believe Josh Miller said that they are ‘struggling to keep their heads above water’.

How is going 18-13 (.580 win %) over the last 31 games, struggling to keep their heads above water?  Is that not a solid stretch of baseball??  Am I missing something?  Is that not good enough?

The “facts” are that this team is heating up.  April was a disaster.  May was a bounce back month and June will be the month that gets us over .500 and a few games out of FIRST PLACE in the NL Central with or without Polanco.  

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Polanco absolutely should get called up soon, but under the pretense that his promotion to the major leagues is imperative for the “survival” of this baseball team is simply wrong and it’s insulting to the men that are currently taking the field everyday and who are again…playing excellent baseball.

I would just ask fans and ‘so called’ experts to think about the dynamic of bringing Polanco up now and how that would play out.  

If Harrison continues to knock the cover off the ball you can’t bench him.  So if you bring him up now, what you end up with is a scenario where Marte and Polanco are competing for playing time.   That is a disaster in the making.  

Like it or not, Marte is not going anywhere.  He IS your left fielder people.  The Pirates will not cast him aside because he had a bad start to the season, especially not in favor of an unproven rookie.  That’s the beauty of signing a long term deal. 

Bringing Polanco up now if it means he’s competing with Marte for time is not fair to Polanco because all that does is creates a short leash.  What if he goes 2 for 10 in his first 3 games?  Is that good enough to keep Marte on the bench?

So what if Harrison keeps playing well?  Do you platoon Marte and Polanco?  Isn’t that counter productive to calling him up?  Or do you just bench Marte for Polanco until Harrison cools down no matter what?  Even if he hits .200 for the first few weeks.  And playing Harrison at short or third is not an option.  So don’t even suggest it. 

Do you see the potential issues?

I think the right answer is let Harrison’s hot streak play out, let Marte get his bearings, and THEN bring up Polanco to take over for Harrison in right.   The other option is if Harrison stays hot through June, than package him with some other players and try to make a deal for a pitcher, THEN insert Polanco into right when Harrison is traded.

Either way, I don’t think rushing Polanco up until he has a guaranteed spot in the lineup is that great of an idea.  More importantly, if you keep worrying about when the Pirates will bring Polanco up instead of focusing on the team that’s on the field right now…

You might actually miss some pretty good baseball. 

Follow me on twitter @TheBigTuna66 for Pirate insight all year long.