State of the Pittsburgh Pirates I: Jekyll and Hyde

Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Apr 8, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Gregory Polanco (25) singles against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Biggest Disappointment: Gregory Polanco

Although the Pirates offense collectively is deserving of this distinction, I’ve narrowed it down to a two-hoarse race between Andrew McCutchen and Polanco. Ultimately, due to Cutch’s seniority, Polanco won out.

Coming out of spring training, I had high expectations for “El Coffe.” After making strides in his first two full seasons in the majors, I felt Polanco was ready to explode for a dominant year, and his performance in the World Baseball Classic backed that up. Unfourtanly, Polanco has not been getting the job done at the plate so far this season.

In fact, Coffe hasn’t been too hot since June of last year, as Polanco ended 2016 with a .220 batting average and .267 on-base percentage after the All-Star break. That rough second half seems to have carried over into 2017, as thus far,  he is hitting .255 with a modest .348 OBP and, perhaps most concerning, 0 home runs as of May 9.

Polanco might be turning a corner, as he has an impressive .400 OBP in the month of May. One can only hope that is the case.

With the absence of Kang and Marte as well as injuries to David Freese and Adam Frazier, the Pirates need Cutch and Coffe to step up now more than ever. The offense stinks, and Polanco getting back to where he was in the first half of 2016 will go a long way to freshening the air.