Hidden Vigorish

Detailed Analysis of The Pittsburgh Pirates

The Polanco Era is Underway

The much anticipated major league debut of Gregory Polanco is now in the books. History will show that a strong Tuesday Night crowd of 31,567 fans showed up on a cloudy overcast evening at PNC Park on June 10, 2014 to watch the Pirates fall 7-3 to the Cubs as the 22 year old Polanco made his debut in RF. Polanco went 1 for 5 on the night and misplayed a ball in RF that cost the Pirates a couple of runs. There has to be some irony in the fact that the outfield of Marte-McCutchen-Polanco, an outfield that many are touting as the best defensive trio that baseball has seen in 30 years, made two costly miscues in their first game together. Starling Marte also took a bad angle on a line drive in the 4th inning, turning what should have been an out into a leadoff double. But honestly, the details of this game do not matter much. Polanco will have much better games in the days ahead. No amount of time in the minor leagues would have helped him make that play in RF last night. It was simply a case of not being familiar with the contours of the stadium. It takes a little time to get the feel of where the walls are in an unfamiliar ball park. We did get a little taste of what could be the next great dynamic duo in Pittsburgh when Polanco laced a line drive to the opposite field in the bottom of the 3rd inning for his first major league hit, and then scored his first major league run when Andrew McCutchen followed him with a 2-run homer over the centerfield wall. The most encouraging takeaway from the game was despite not having a big offensive night Polanco flashed his advanced offensive approach that has earned him such high praise from scouts all throughout the industry. Travis Wood is an extremely tough pitcher on left handed hitters. Polanco didn’t seemed overmatched by Wood at all. He didn’t swing at any junk off the plate all night. He was patient in not offering at borderline pitches not to his liking early in the count. It is only one game, but I’m confident in saying Polanco is already the best left handed hitter on the roster against same side pitching. The first game of the Polanco era was a bit of a dud, but the future is very very bright. After all the controversy leading up his promotion I just want to sit back and watch him play. The Gregory Polanco era is underway. May it be long and prosperous.

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