Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco was held out of Saturday’s lineup after suffering a hamstring injury during Friday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs.
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Polanco Sidelined Again by Hamstring Problems
Saturday, July 9
Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review confirmed Polanco’s absence for Saturday’s clash with the Cubs. Sawchik previously reported the right fielder is dealing with left hamstring tightness.
The latest setback comes just a couple days after the 24-year-old rising star returned to the field following a prior hamstring problem. He didn’t play anywhere close to full speed when that happened Monday, however, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Polanco is enjoying a strong first half of the campaign aside the injury issues. He’s posted a .287 batting average to go along with a .362 on-base percentage, 12 home runs and nine stolen bases in 82 games.
Sean Rodriguez replaced him in right field for Saturday’s contest. Adam Frazier and Matt Joyce could also see some additional playing time moving forward, depending on how long the starter is sidelined.
In this case, the Pirates catch a break with the timing of next week’s All-Star break. It’s unlikely they will rush him back into action Sunday. Instead, they can use the time off to see what type of progress he makes before deciding whether a DL stint might be necessary.
Getting Polanco back to full strength is crucial because, as the latest setback illustrates, hamstring problems tend to linger if not given the proper time to heal. That said, the Pirates’ lineup isn’t nearly as strong without him, so they’ll hope he can avoid an extended absence.