Colin Dunlap: Cubs Series Best Time For Polanco
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It is my contention that insanely talented Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco should have been with the club out of Bradenton; that he should have made the 25-man roster coming North out of Spring Training.
That didn’t happen — but we are well past that now.
In my estimation, the Pirates got that one wrong, as you can never go wrong with having the best 25 men on your big league roster. He was the best 25 then and, undeniably, is now.
Right now, though, with another decision regarding Polanco, it would seem the Pirates are getting it right.
I’m not ready to give them too much credit, but they do deserve a little.
On Wednesday night, what would give the impression to be a few erroneous reports began to surface that Polanco was going to make his Major League debut on Friday in Pittsburgh against the Milwaukee Brewers. Such reports were quickly shot down by the club.
I reached out to a high-ranking member of the front office who texted me saying: “No decision has been made as to when Polanco will be called up, but it will NOT be Friday.”
That would seem to answer that, as organizations generally don’t take such steps to so vehemently deny reports.
As Major League Baseball has reportedly pushed past the Super Two date, it would be safe to bring Polanco up Friday without running the risk of spending additional millions in the future on him. But, from a practical baseball sense, isn’t it a lot more logical to get Polanco’s career started, say, against the Chicago Cubs sometime early next week?
I sure think it does.
Again, I would have liked to see Polanco here to start the season, but if we have waited this long, the Cubs series — which runs Monday through Thursday — would appear to be much more beneficial to launching Polanco’s career than the Brewers’ series.
The reasons aren’t that complicated, either. The kid, who is just 22, is going to have an infinite amount of pressure on him when he steps into PNC Park for the first time.
That said, I’d rather that first time be against a team at the bottom of the division such as the Cubs; a team that is 11 games back in the NL Central and 10-21 in road games.
To me, and it isn’t even close, that would be much more conducive to early success than starting a career in a pressure-cooker series against the team leading the division.
And there’s also this: Remember the last time Milwaukee was in town?
If you don’t, a brief refresher — the teams beat the hell out of each other on Easter Sunday. It was that day when the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez pimped a triple, Gerrit Cole yelled at him, Travis Snider didn’t take too kindly to the situation and Martin Maldonado decided to throw a sucker punch.
It was all mayhem.
It was all nonsense.
It was all a sideshow and kind of embarrassing.
And there still is bad blood that hasn’t fully been sorted out.
In short, it ain’t all over.
Would you, as Pirates fans, really want Polanco making his debut in the vortex of all of that which is still, seemingly, on-going? I know I wouldn’t.
Again, I think Polanco should already be here. Let that be stated and stated very clearly. But now that the Pirates have gone this far without him, I would think the way they are looking at it is a soft-launch into a series like the upcoming one with the Cubs would make far more sense.
And, to be honest, in that regard, I don’t necessarily disagree.