PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – In the midst of a huge series with the St. Louis Cardinals, MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds joined the Starkey and Mueller show to talk about the Pirates chasing the NL Central leader and what he has seen from Gerrit Cole and Gregory Polanco this year.

Talking about the Pirates trying to catch the Cardinals, Reynolds told us about the time he spent with the Pirates during spring training and the mentality they’re taking in this series.

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“I think they know they’re good, I think they know they’re a playoff club,” Reynolds said. “I don’t know if it’s necessarily that ‘we got to beat the Cardinals,’ I think the mindset is more ‘we’ve got to get in.’ I think they know if they get in, they match up as well as anybody. Would you like to win your division? Absolutely. But I do think that if you get in with this club right here, you got a chance to be pretty special.”

In order to reach that potential, the Pirates will rely heavily on starter Gerrit Cole, and Reynolds told us where he ranks Cole amongst the other elite pitchers across the league.

“Top five is high, and I love him, and I think he’s right there, I really do,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to see greatness from him for years to come. He’s got this moxie about him, there’s a presence, there’s a stare and then there’s genuine stuff.”

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On the opposite end of the spectrum for the Pirates this year, we have seen some dismal play from outfielder Gregory Polanco at times, but Reynolds cautions patience with the Pirates youngster.

“He’s young,” Reynolds said. “I’ve always said, repeatedly, that it takes left-handed hitters a little more time than it does anybody else. We live in this time right now where you see Mike Trout or you see Bryce Harper and you go, ‘That’s what a young guy is supposed to do.’ Well time out. It takes a good five years to figure it out. You’re looking at a young guy that has been thrust into stardom and he’s not a star yet, but I think he will be.”

Click the link below to hear more from the former Major League All-Star on the Pirates, where he sees them going this year and the coverage of the MLB All-Star game that you can catch on the MLB Network.

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