After tweaking his hamstring in Toronto on Saturday afternoon, Gregory Polanco finds himself on the disabled list for a third time this season.
2017 has been a miserable season for Gregory Polanco. For the third time this season, Polanco is now on the disabled list due to a left hamstring issue. Quite honestly, the best course of action for the Pirates and Polanco might be to have him shut down for the remained of the season.
On the season, Gregory Polanco owns just a .311 on-base percentage and a career-low 7.1 percent walk rate. His .306 wOBA and 88 wRC+ are both the second lowest of his now four year Major League career.
Even when healthy, Gregory Polanco has struggled for most of the season. His best stretch was from mid-June until he went on the disabled list for a second time on June 10th. During this near month stretch Polanco owned a .346 on-base percentage, .240 ISO, .547 slugging percentage, .365 wOBA, and a 126 wRC+.
It is not a coincidence that it was during this time that the Pittsburgh Pirates played their best baseball of the season. The Bucs peaked at being above .500, for the first time since they were 3-2, and just 2 games back of first place when Polanco went on the disabled list on June 10th.
While some fans want to think otherwise, Gregory Polanco is a very important player for the Pirates. Without a healthy Polanco contributing in the middle of the Pirate lineup, it is very difficult for the Pittsburgh Pirates to contend.
Catcher Elias Diaz was recalled to replace Polanco on the 25-man roster. This is due catcher Francisco Cervelli dealing with a wrist issue. In 30 games (85 plate appearances) for the Pirates this season Diaz owns a .295 wOBA and a wRC+ of 81.
Clint Hurdle has also announced that Chris Stewart will catch tonight and tomorrow in Milwaukee. The plan is to let Francisco Cervelli have yesterday’s off day and the next two days to rest his ailing wrist. Odds are, if he is not better by Thursday he will join Polanco on the disabled list.
With Gregory Polanco out, it appears the Pirates will go with a right field platoon of Adam Frazier and Jose Osuna. This is not a good idea as Frazier has proven he is not offensively fit to be an everyday player and Osuna is an awful defensive outfielder. The Pirates should have recalled Jordan Luplow to play for the injured Polanco. However, if Cervelli is DL’d on Thursday this could change.
Hopefully, Gregory Polanco can get 100 percent healthy between now and the start of the 2018 season. The Pittsburgh Pirates need Polanco to be the player he can be when completely healthy in 2018.