It would have been nice if the Pittsburgh Pirates could have promoted Gregory Polanco for a better reason, but nonetheless, the team’s top prospect is on his way to Pittsburgh for Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. Surprisingly, in a world where baseball “insiders” are somehow always able to break news, the player himself broke this huge story:
The wait is over…. My dream has officially come true ⚾️ Pittsburgh, see you mañana!!
— Gregory Polanco ☕️ (@El_Coffee) June 10, 2014
Unfortunately, Pirates second baseman Neil Walker had an appendectomy on Monday night according to Colin Dunlap of 93.7 The Fan.
Obviously, Polanco will be replacing Walker on the roster while he is on the disabled list. Finally being able to see Polanco reach the MLB caused a ton of fun and excitement on Twitter as Pirates fans went nuts shortly after the news was announced. However, what’s lost in this story is the fact that the Pirates are losing their second baseman for a few weeks.
Walker is having an All-Star caliber season for the Bucs, hitting .280/.353/.452 with a 129 wRC+ and 11 home runs before he had his emergency appendectomy on Monday night.
It sounds wrong, but there are two guys in particular that are probably glad Walker is hitting the disabled list for a few weeks. Maybe not glad, but you’ll know what I mean here in a second. Current right fielders Travis Snider and Jose Tabata have had disappointing seasons, and prior to the news about Walker, the obvious move to get Polanco onto the 25-man roster would have been to designate one of the current right fielders for assignment, or maybe look for a trade. Walker hitting the disabled list temporarily saves both of their jobs.
Polanco was a consensus top-20 prospect entering the 2014 season, and his stock only rose throughout the year. Polanco hit .347/.405/.540 in 274 plate appearances at Triple-A with the Indianapolis Indians. Not only will Polanco bring another legitimate bat to the Pirates’ lineup, but he will also play stellar defense in right field and create havoc on the base paths. The Pirates are adding a true five-tool player to their roster on Tuesday and the whole baseball world will watch his debut.