The Pittsburgh Pirates could get a big boost from a returning player soon
Pittsburgh Pirates’ right fielder Gregory Polanco has been on the disabled list since July 23rd. He was placed on the disabled list on July 23rd due to a hamstring injury. However, he could be returning soon.
Last week, Gregory Polanco resumed baseball activities. Today, he ran the bases and according to Adam Berry of MLB.com his return from the disabled list could come as soon as tomorrow.
Gregory Polanco’s overall numbers this season are nothing special. He owns a .322 on-base percentage, .317 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 95 in 315 plate appearances. However, his power stroke has been there at times as his .155 ISO and .424 slugging percentage indicate. He also owns a career low 13.0 percent strikeout rate this season.
Despite the poor overall numbers, Gregory Polanco had been red hot in the month of July. Polanco posted a .406 on-base percentage, .435 wOBA, 172 wRC+, and a .629 slugging percentage in July. During his absence, the Pirates have also missed his defense in right field where he owns a +4 defensive runs saved (DRS) this season.
While Polanco has been out Adam Frazier, John Jaso, and Jose Osuna have shared the right field duties. Other than Osuna (.326 wOBA, 101 wRC+) all of these players have been very poor hitters this season.
Furthermore, all three are horrible defenders in right field. Adam Frazier’s DRS in right field this season is -3, Jose Osuna’s is -7, and John Jaso’s is -9. Getting Gregory Polanco’s defense back, regardless of what he provides offensively, will be a huge boost for the Pirates.
Jordan Luplow has also started a pair of games in right field during Polanco’s absence. Luplow is 0-for-7 with a walk in those starts. He has also been, to put it lightly, an adventure in right field defensively.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have missed Gregory Polanco during his absence. There is no doubt that a big reason they have gone 2-6 in their past eight games has been the absence of Polanco. Hopefully, he will return tomorrow and pick up where he left off in July before getting hurt.