Polanco to miss rest of year with injured knee, shoulder

By John Mehno

For the Mirror

PITTSBURGH — Gregory Polanco’s season is over.

The Pirates announced Saturday that Polanco will need six to eight weeks to recover from a pair of injuries sustained after he took an awkward, tumbling slide into second base during Friday’s game against Miami.

Polanco’s absence is directly due to a bone bruise in his knee. He also hurt his shoulder, an injury the Pirates are still evaluating.

The team says he will need about two months of rest and rehab. No exact program has been outlined, pending a second medical opinion.

In 130 games, Polanco batted .254 with 23 home runs and 81 runs batted in. His OPS was .839 and he was 12-for-14 on stolen base attempts. He drew 61 walks and struck out 117 times in 430 at-bats.

“He made great strides,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Maturity is the word I’ll continue to use. His maturity showed throughout the season.”

Polanco, 26, started hot, then took a huge dip before rebounding again. Unlike past seasons when he landed on the disabled list frequently, a new workout routine seemed to help him stay healthy.

But now he’ll shut down three weeks early.

“We don’t like it, but we’ll have to deal with it,” Hurdle said. “He’s going to have to deal with the challenge of going through rehab work, and coming back bigger, better and stronger than before.”

Jordan Luplow is likely to be the Pirates’ first option in right field. They also have Jose Osuna and Pablo Reyes as possibilities.

Adam Frazier has played in the outfield, although it appears the Pirates want to get a good look at him at second base with an eye toward 2019.

Mehno can be reached at:

johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com

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