The Curious Case Of Gregory Polanco

After an RBI triple Saturday, Polanco didn't tag to tie the game

Andrew Limberg
July 02, 2018 - 4:21 pm
Gregory Polanco

© Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

After a hot start, Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco cooled sharply, with many questioning why he was still in the lineup on a regular basis.

On June 16 Polanco’s average was at .200 but since has gone up by 34 points, an impressive feat, especially this time of year.

In his last six games, Polanco has gone 9 for 19 and is hitting .455 in his last 13 games.  He has also already matched his home run total from last season with 11.

But while Polanco has gotten his hitting back on track, there is something that gives me an unsure feeling about him.

For one, with his career the way it has gone, it feels like we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop again and we’ll soon see Polanco struggling at the plate once more.

The other, more frustrating issue with Polanco is even when he is swinging the bat well; he seems to make far too many fundamental mistakes in the field and on the bases.

A misjudged ball in right or a lapse in base running fundamentals can make the average Pirates fan want to pull their hair out.

Take for example Saturday night in San Diego, with one out in the 9th and the Pirates down two, Polanco smashed an RBI triple to right to bring the game to within one.

With only 1 out, pinch hitter Jose Osuna hit a foul to right that was caught by Padres’ outfielder Hunter Renfroe on the run, the entire time Polanco was down the third-base line not even attempting to tag and score. 

Third-base coach Joey Cora said he didn’t send him because he thought Polanco would’ve been thrown out if he attempted to tag but even Renfroe after the game Saturday said he was surprised Polanco didn’t go.

While Cora took the blame for what many see as a miscue, it was just another example of Gregory Polanco doing something great and then doing something to ruin it.

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