While one Pittsburgh Pirates player is struggling on their rehab assignment, another is set to begin a rehab assignment on Thursday
Injuries have been a major issues for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2019. 23 different players have spent time on the injured list this season. However, two players on the IL could be closing in on returning to the club.
Last week, infield Erik Gonzalez started a rehab assignment with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. Prior to breaking his collarbone on April 19th, Gonzalez was the team’s starting shortstop. Outfielder Gregory Polanco will join him at Triple-A on Thursday. Polanco is currently on the IL due to lingering problems from offseason shoulder surgery that caused him to start the season on the IL.
Thus far, Gonzalez has struggled on his rehab assignment. Entering play on Thursday, Gonzalez was 0-for-11 on his rehab stint. On Wednesday night, he got off the schneid by collecting a base hit in the Indy loss.
Even with the base hit, Gonzalez was just 1-for-5 on Wednesday. The Pirate infielder is now 1-for-16 on his rehab stint. While getting at bats is what’s most important for Gonzalez, this is still not what you want to see.
Prior to getting injured he owned just a .216/.298/.294 slash line and a wRC+ of 46 for the Pirates. Throughout his career Gonzalez has been a poor MLB hitter. Due to this, it would have been great to see him hit Triple-A pitching well on his rehab stint. However, this is not happening.
Prior to going back on the IL Polanco owned a .242/.301/.425 slash line for the Pirates. In 167 plate appearances across 42 games he had hit 6 home runs, his extra base hit rate was 9.8%, his ISO was .183, and he owned a wRC+ of 88.
Hopefully, the time off will have served Polanco well. The Pirates are hopeful that this combined with a rehab stint at Triple-A will get his swing back on track. When healthy, Polanco remains one of the most important, and best, players on the Pirate roster.