Pittsburgh Pirates News: Team Releases Gregory Polanco

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Saturday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates released outfielder Gregory Polanco ending his 8 year tenure with the Pittsburgh Baseball Club

Last week there was plenty of drama around outfielder Gregory Polanco and his future with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates put Polanco on waivers last Sunday but he went unclaimed, remaining a Pirate.

Polanco then played a big role in a historic 7th inning rally by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night. Despite this, Polanco’s tenure in Pittsburgh has now ended as on Saturday afternoon the team released Polanco.

The former top 10 prospect in all of baseball finishes his Pirate career with a .241/.309/.409 slash line, 96 home runs and a wRC+ of 92. Polanco played a big role on postseason teams in 2014 and 2015, especially in 2015 when the Pittsburgh Pirates won 98 games and Polanco posted a 2.2 fWAR.

This season Polanco has hit for just a .208/.283/.354 slash line to go with 11 home runs and a wRC+ of 72 in 382 plate appearances. These 382 PAs came in 71 games played after Polanco spent time on the injured list this season.

While Polanco caught plenty of flack, much of which was too extreme, from fans, he is a player who should be remembered in a positive light. He was beloved in the clubhouse and had a great, infectious personality. Polanco was a player who loves the Pirates and the city of Pittsburgh and always had a smile on his face.

Polanco also was the final tie to the Pirates postseason run form 2013-2015. For many Pirate fans, especially those of my generation who are too young to remember the run of the early 90s, that meant something as those teams were the only contending baseball clubs we ever saw.

Prior to injury his shoulder in September of 2018 Polanco appeared to be a player on an upward trajectory. In 2185 PAs from the start of the 2015 season through his injury in September 2018 Polanco hit for a .255/.323/.433 slash line with a 101 wRC+ and he was worth a fWAR of 6.5. 2018 was also the best season of his career, hitting a career high 23 home runs to go with a career best 123 wR+C, 2.5 fWAR, .340 on-base percentage and .499 slugging percentage.

Since the injury Polanco has logged just 723 PAs, while making multiple other trips to the IL. In these 723 PAs Polanco hit for a .203/.270/.364 slash line to go with a 68 wRC+ and a porous 30.2% strikeout rate.

Next. Checking in on the Joe Musgrove Trade. dark

To replace Polanco on the roster the Pirates have promoted 2014 first-round pick Cole Tucker back to the Majors. At Triple-A this season Tucker has hit for a .223/.350/.373 slash line to go with a wRC+ of 99 and a tremendous 15.6% walk rate.