MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - INSIDE PITCH
PITTSBURGH — Gregory Polanco is still developing. But the right field piece of the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield that also features center fielder Andrew McCutchen and left fielder Starling Marte just keeps getting better.
He was billed by scouts as the five-tool player so many organizations covet. In Friday’s 5-3 win against the Rockies, they were on full display.
Polanco collected three hits, drove in a run, scored a run, stole a base and threw out two baserunners. The last when Colorado shortstop Jose Reyes tied to tag from third on a fly to right with the game tied 3-3.
Polanco was aware of Reyes’ speed and knew he couldn’t try to pinpoint the ball or throw it with extra gas to the plate.
“You just throw it and you don’t know where,” Polanco said. I just tried to put a good throw, throw it in the right direction, that’s the first thing. You try to throw it anywhere else, you’ve got no chance. So you have to throw it in the right direction to get it out.”
The fielding has been the final tool to emerge from Polanco’s kit. He struggled earlier this season with routes and seemingly-fundamental plays. With more reps, and success, he continues to improve into an outfielder that could become better than the one playing between him and Marte.
“Greg’s confidence continues to grow,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We remember when he first got here, he was working on going to the wall, routes, everything to get better, throws as far as accuracy. He had long levers, it took a long time for him to throw. He’s refining his routine through his practice, and he is nailing it in games, in high-leverage situations he is nailing them.”
MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won three
NEXT: Rockies (LHP Chris Rusin, 4-6, 4.97 ERA) at Pirates (LHP J.A. Happ, 2-1, 2.08 ERA)
—RF Gregory Polanco went 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and scored two runs. Polanco is batting .343 in August and has raised his average to .270, its highest mark since he was hitting .271 May 11.
—RHP Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his 42nd save. Melancon now leads the majors in saves, breaking a tie with St. Louis RHP Trevor Rosenthal. His 42 saves mark the third-highest single-season total in club history, and Melancon is one behind Jose Mesa to tie for second.
—CF Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored a run. He is batting .304 for the season, McCutchen’s best average since he owned a .500 clip after going 2-for-4 on Opening Day April 6.
—3B Jung Ho Kang collected two hits and drove in two runs in his first two plate appearances Friday. Kang, the NL Rookie of the Month for July, now owns 48 RBIs on the season which ties him for fourth in the category among rookies on the Senior Circuit.
—RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow) is slated to pitch three-inning simulated game Sunday. Burnett has been on the disabled list since July 31 with right elbow inflammation and while he has begun throwing again, his timetable for a return is still unclear.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Anytime you get a chance to help the team you want to be a part of it. That’s what makes it so good. It’s a different guy every night.” — Pirates UTL Josh Harrison, after a win over the Rockies on Friday.
MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - ROSTER REPORT
—1B/OF Travis Ishikawa (lower back inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 20.
—RHP A.J. Burnett (strained flexor tendon in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list July 31. He began playing catch Aug. 8. He played long toss Aug. 16 and threw off a mound Aug. 18, 20, 22 and 25. He is scheduled to pitch three innings in a simulated game Aug. 30.
—1B Corey Hart (left shoulder impingement/right knee discomfort) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 20. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis on June 30. He experienced a setback July 11 when he experienced right knee discomfort and was shut down. He went home to Arizona on July 24 to continue his rehab. He began another rehab assignment with Indianapolis on Aug. 20.
—RHP Rob Scahill (right forearm tightness) went on the 15-day disabled list June 26. He began playing catch July 8, then threw a bullpen session July 24. He began a rehab assignment with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Pirates on Aug. 6. He made a rehab appearance for Double-A Altoona on Aug. 11 and was transferred to Triple-A Indianapolis on Aug. 16.
—RHP Deolis Guerra (left knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 31.
—OF Andrew Lambo (plantar fasciitis in left foot) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 4, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 26. He was due to begin a rehab assignment with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Pirates on July 21, but the game was rained out. After he felt pain in his foot July 22, he received an anti-inflammatory injection, and he rested through mid-August.
—RHP Brandon Cumpton (Tommy John surgery in March 2015) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 16. He will miss the entire season.
RHP Gerrit Cole
LHP Francisco Liriano
LHP J.A. Happ
RHP Charlie Morton
LHP Jeff Locke
RHP Mark Melancon (closer)
LHP Tony Watson
RHP Joakim Soria
RHP Jared Hughes
RHP Joe Blanton
RHP Arquimedes Caminero
LHP Antonio Bastardo
1B Pedro Alvarez
2B Neil Walker
SS Jung Ho Kang
3B Aramis Ramirez
INF/OF Josh Harrison
INF/OF Sean Rodriguez
INF Jordy Mercer
LF Starling Marte
CF Andrew McCutchen
RF Gregory Polanco
OF/INF Michael Morse