Sports Magazine

Kipper : How Much Of A Difference Would Polanco Make For The #Pirates?

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
As the Pittsburgh Pirates get off to a slow and disappointing start, the regular crowd of naysayers and crappy Arm-Chair GM's are back! Ready to provide their expert analysis on what would make this team better. It ranges from having needed to spend money on non-existent Free Agent 1B's in the Offseason to...
..Calling up Gregory Polanco.
Yes, the Pittsburgh Pirates Top Prospect who is absolutely raking it at the AAA Level after winning the Dominican Winter League MVP and Rookie of the Year Award the past winter. He's the Pittsburgh Pirates future in RF. He can hit, he has plate paitence and the kid is fast.
Did I say that the kid is fast?
Here he beats out a routine grounder to 2nd Base, where the 2nd Baseman throws off his pivot..

As of this time, Polanco is batting :
.400 Avg
.632 SLG
.1089 OPS
9 BB
16 K
The guy is simply doing it.
There's no wonder why fans want this kid up in the Big Leagues yesterday, but would Polanco make a big enough difference right now and is it worth the monetary risk?
gregory-polanco-2014-cw-300x225.jpgTackling the money side of things, the Pirates bringing Polanco up early gives up Super 2 Status and would cost the Pirates between $10-15 million over the long haul. Can the Pirates afford it? Sure. Should they make stupid financial decisions? No.
With the new MLB CBA, the Super 2 Deadline was changed. It's an unofficial date yearly and this year could see it at the end of June. The question arises then whether the Pirates believe that Gregory Polanco is enough to turn the Pirates season around? Would Gregory Polanco have been able to hit Johnny Cueto and escalate the Pirates to a couple of wins? Would Polanco had been to prevent Jason Grilli from blowing 2 saves?
Teams usually don't bring up a player before the Super 2 Deadline, because the value isn't there. It's just smart baseball and smart financial choices. While the Pittsburgh Pirates won't lose any years of control, money is and always will be a consideration for small market teams like the Pirates. The decision has to be absolutely right.
Look at Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez, two more recent mid season call ups. Contracts aside, both came up and both didn't really contribute much to the Pittsburgh Pirates record. The teams they joined were struggling in areas that they couldn't lift up. Same goes for Gregory Polanco. The entire Offense isn't hitting well and when you get past that fact, the Starting Rotation and Shark Tank has been inconsistent and unreliable. Those are areas that need solved before calling up Gregory Polanco. One person alone isn't going to bail out a Starting Pitcher bombing his way through a 4 run inning. One person isn't going to prevent your closer from getting owned by Ryan Braun.
Gregory Polanco will be called up this season and will be contributing at a time that is most important for the Pirates - the Playoff Stretch. He'll join the team while they are discussing trades to improve the team for another Playoff run and every Fan Boy and Fan Girl out there will be able to rejoice.
Just show some patience. It isn't like RF is our weakest area offensively right now. Jose Tabata is currently batting .262. That might seem laughable now but when you have the 2nd best Batting Average on the team behind Andrew McCutchen (50 AB's or more), the Offensive issues are pretty deep. Here's a quick list of players hitting worse than Jose Tabata :
Starling Marte - .229
Jordy Mercer - .167
Neil Walker - .235
Ike Davis - .185
Pedro Alvarez - .172
Essentially you would be replacing our 2nd best bat in the lineup with Gregory Polanco. Clint Hurdle isn't going to start Jose Tabata over Starling Marte for longer than one day. That's not improving the greatest weaknesses on the team nor is it going to help the rest of the team hit better or pitch better.
Is that worth $10-15 million over the long haul?
Is Gregory Polanco going to solve all of the Pittsburgh Pirates issues right now?
Patience. He'll be here, at about the same time, my tan is looking pretty bodacious (yes, I went 1980's on you).

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