Gregory Polanco got off to a slow start in his debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 10th but he still managed to get a base hit. In fact, Polanco’s impact was immediately seen when he did register his first hit because Andrew McCutchen followed that base hit with a 2-run homer to tie the game that night against the Cubs at 2. It’s no doubt Polanco’s call-up solidifies Pittsburgh’s outfield as the best in the game.
Polanco is currently hitting .345 with a home run and 6 RBI’s. He started his major league career on an 11 game hitting streak, a Pirates franchise record. I didn’t expect Polanco to be playing as well as he has just yet. I figured it would take more time than it did, but Polanco settled in nicely for the Pirates and has played very well in just about every game. The only thing that has been a downside to his game at the moment is his glove in right field. Other than that, Polanco has done everything the Pirates could have hoped for and then some.
Besides the good batting average he currently holds, Polanco makes the Pirate lineup so much deeper. Polanco is the Pirates leadoff hitter, followed by Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen. Those three aren’t Murderer’s Row, but they aren’t an easy task for any pitcher to start off a game against. You could walk Polanco but with his speed, why would you? You have to just find a way to make those guys miss and it’s tough to do. Starling Marte is most likely the easiest, if you can say that, of the three to get out. Marte’s on-base percentage is just .324 whereas the guy in front of him (Polanco) has an OBP of .410 and the guy behind him (McCutchen) has an OBP of .421. That’s a tough starting three.
Since the call-up of Polanco, the Pirates have gone 7-5. Their lineup is solid and they’ll be getting Neil Walker back any day now. The Pirates outfield is the best in baseball at this point and there’s no question about it. However, with recent pitching struggles, they are in some danger of missing the playoffs this season. Though it’s still early, their pitching from both the bullpen and certain starters has caused for a lot of concern in the Steel City. It has to cause concern considering how inconsistent their pitchers can be. But with better pitching appearances both from the bullpen and starters, the Pirates outfield as well as their solid supporting cast of guys like Russell Martin and Neil Walker can make it back to the postseason this year.
With all the love George Springer gets here at onbasetalk.com, and rightfully so, I figured someone should give the fans a little bit of El Coffee. For those who don’t know, El Coffee is Polanco’s nickname. Don’t ask me why or how that came to be, but that’s what it is. As for Polanco, his hitting streak of eleven straight games to start his career came to an end Sunday against the Cubs. But there’s bigger and better things to come from this kid eventually. Yes even better than what we have already seen in just about two weeks since his major league debut.