Polanco received rave reviews for both his batting and throwing over the weekend from his teammates at PNC Park's summer camp, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports. "Homers to all fields, definitely homers in the river, said first baseman Josh Bell, referring to Polanco. "And then right after that, after having not thrown for maybe 40 or 50 minutes, he went right into right field and made a few throws to third, a few throws to second, a few throws to home. That was the best I've seen his arm since surgery." The 28-year-old has shown glimpses of potential during his five MLB seasons but hasn't been able to stay healthy. Perhaps the shorter season will give him a better opportunity to stay on the field.
Polanco is expected to see time at DH in addition to his right field duties, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports. After undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery last summer, the Pirates may want to limit his playing time in the outfield. Polanco will be expected to produce offensively from the middle of Pittsburgh's lineup. Serving as an occasional DH should help to keep him healthy.
Polanco is off to a strong spring training start, batting .333 with four extra-base hits and a 6:6 BB:K in 18 at-bats. The right fielder is the last holdover from Pittsburgh's playoff run from 2013 to 2015. He's shown no ill effects from the shoulder surgery which shut down his 2019 campaign. The 28-year-old is expected to bat fifth behind Josh Bell, but manager Derek Shelton has said that everyone could bounce around the order with the exception of Bryan Reynolds, who will bat second.
Polanco went 0-for-2 with a walk while serving as Pittsburgh's designated hitter Sunday. Polanco showed little reservation running the bases, moving from first to third on a single with ease. Still, the true test will come when he plays right field and makes his first throw back to the cutoff man. Provided he passes that test, he could outproduce his projections after missing most of 2019 with shoulder issues.
Polanco (shoulder) will be limited to DH duty in the Pirates' first two spring games, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports. The news doesn't necessarily contradict reports that Polanco is set for a healthy spring after battling shoulder injuries for much of last season, as there's nothing too unusual about a team being cautious with players coming off injuries. The outfielder hit a modest .242/.301/.425 in 42 games last season.
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