Another day, another roster move for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Outfielder Gregory Polanco once again finds himself on the injured list. The Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder started the season on the IL after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. After playing in 42 games, he finds himself back on the IL.
Due to shoulder inflammation, Polanco has been placed on the 10-day IL retroactive to June 19th.
Polanco returned to action in late April. His return came sooner than was initially expected after he underwent his surgery. So, it is definitely possible that he rushed back from his surgery and that this contributed to his struggles this season.
In 42 games this season Polanco is slashing .242/.301/.425. His wRC+ is 89, he’s walked in 7.2% of his at bats, and his strikeout rate is 29.3%.
It is not unreasonable to wonder if Polanco is not injured. With him struggling to get on track offensively and the Pirates having a logjam of outfielders, all of which are producing except Polanco, placing Polanco on the IL could make some sense. You give him a week or so off to recharge the batteries, and then let him work on things at the plate during a rehab assignment at Triple-A.
This way Polanco can work out the kinks offensively without hurting the MLB club. It also allows the Pirates to continue to play the hot bats of Melky Cabrera and Corey Dickerson without it hurting Polanco.
Outfielder Jason Martin was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to take Polanco’s spot on the roster. This is Martin’s second MLB stint this season after spending time with the Pirates in April.
In 17 games for the Pirates this season Martin slashed .229/.289/.286 with a wRC+ of 57. After a bit start to his MLB stint, Martin cooled off and started to struggle. He was optioned back to Triple-A when Polanco was activated off the IL.
With Triple-A Indy this season Martin was slashing .230/.268/.410 with a wRC+ of 65. So, his struggles carried over with him to Triple-A.
The option to promote Martin is an odd one. Not only is he struggling at Triple-A, but the Pirates us too manny outfielder prior to placing Polanco on the IL. Instead, infielder Kevin Kramer should have been promoted to the MLB level. Carrying five outfielders when you do not need to makes little sense.