Gregory Polanco will get the start today in right field, hitting 8th in the lineup in the series finale against the Cubs. Jacob Turner — who has given up an .808 OPS against lefties — will start with the Cubs.
“We keep having optimism that he’s getting closer,” Clint Hurdle said. “We’ll give him a couple more opportunities to put some at bats today.”
After a hot start following his call up, opposing pitchers made adjustments to their approach against Polanco. Now Polanco has to adjust back, Hurdle said.
“He had as productive first couple weeks as any young player can have,” Hurdle said. “We are engaged in a society here in sports that, that information went viral throughout the league. Everybody saw what he could hit. So they counter-punched. How are they going to attack? Well, he handled hard, he handled middle, he handled thigh. Let’s go down and away, lets spin soft down, go hard up.”
Hurdle liked the progress Polanco made in his brief demotion to the minors.
“He went down just to get at bats, to look out over the plate, to hold your backside. Now, here, it’s continued along those lines,” Hurdle said.
And since he’s come back up to the minors, he’s worked to continue that progress.
“He’s got to recalibrate, he’s got to find a right way to reboot,” Hurdle said. “He’s worked extremely hard since he’s been back, whether it be off the spin machine, in velocity in the cage, taking it out on the field, some directional hitting. We think he’s close.”
In addition to Polanco’s return to the lineup today, Charlie Morton will return to the rotation against the Red Sox on Tuesday. He’ll take the place of Vance Worley.
“He could either piggy back Charlie’s start, or play out of the bullpen,” Hurdle said.
After Morton, Francisco Liriano will start on Wednesday and Gerrit Cole on Thursday.