WBC Notes: Polanco Reaches Base Three Times in Loss; Marte Still Bothered by Ankle Injury

On Tuesday night in the World Baseball Classic, the Dominican Republic lost 3-1 to Puerto Rico. It was the first loss in the WBC for the Dominican team since 2009. Gregory Polanco batted eighth and started in center field. He went 2-for-3, with a single, double, walk and stolen base. He is now 6-for-11 in three games.

Starling Marte was out of the lineup again on Tuesday. Dominican manager Tony Pena told the media prior to the game that Marte felt a little pain after Saturday’s game and he wasn’t 100% yet.  Marte originally hurt the ankle against the Pirates on Wednesday during the Dominican exhibition game in Bradenton. He sat out the first game of the WBC on Thursday. They had Friday off, and Marte said he was ready to go on Saturday, but he injured the ankle again. The original injury was called right ankle swelling and that returned after Saturday’s game. Marte also missed Sunday’s game, but Polanco has been his replacement in this tournament and he has obviously been hitting well.

Wednesday’s action includes Jared Lakind and Israel against Japan at 6:00 AM (7:00 PM local time in Tokyo). Then Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison and Team USA will start their second round against Venezuela at 9:00 PM. Both games will be shown live on MLB Network.

  • Seems like the WBC is paying dividends for Polanco so far. Hopefully playing for his country lights a spark and starts the breakout year of consistently putting all of his skills on display we’ve all been wanting for since he started off hot when he was first called up to Pittsburgh.

  • Come home Marte.

  • Marte ankle… we are going to find out real fast what a problem outfield depth is if Marte misses time at any point early in the season.

    • If Marte is unable to go, who is the CF? Do we transfer Bell to the OF again? Or, do we take a kid like Osuna, who plays LF and 1B and give him the opportunity. Great Spring after a .291/.333/.482/.815 OPS in 220 AB’s at AAA in 2016. 19 doubles, 7 HR is appealing.

      • The mere possibility of losing someone like Marte clearly demonstrates why signing someone such as Pagan should not be considered a “luxury”. While Osuna might be an OK stopgap option the reality is his projections are very conservative. But none of that addresses the fact we don’t have anyone to play center without Marte. Cutch is an abomination there and while I suppose they could move Polanco there that opens up another problem in left field at PNC where you would be asking someone like Frazier/Hanson/Osuna/Jaso to play there.

        I can’t get over the fact Bell looked horrible in the outfield. A very small sample but defensive metrics rated him beyond horrible there. And even if you play him there who is playing 1b? Freese is needed at 3rd with Kang out. So are we back to John Jaso at 1b in that scenario.

        • Well that was an uplifting take, lol. Unfortunately it’s all true.

        • So much doom and gloom because of a swollen ankle in mid-March. Had to look up to make sure the sky wasn’t falling.

          If, and it’s a really, really, big if, Marte can’t go to start the season, then I suggest Cutch moves back to CF, Polanco stays in LF, and a combination of Osuna, Bell and Frazier will man RF until either Marte returns, or Meadows is promoted.

          Obviously signing Pagan makes this a moot point. I believe Pagan would prefer to sign w a contender he can play his way into a starting job. Pirates starting OF w Meadows waiting in wings doesn’t make this the best fit for him, IMO.

      • I doubt a relatively minor ankle issue, no serious red flags/need for surgery or extented absence likely based on indicated reports, will change the outlook of the outfield for this season or the long term. Id imagine Polanco slides in at center and frazier, hanson, bell or jaso get some starts in a corner spot if Marte misses time to start the season. Despite his productive spring I assume Osuna stays as depth and makes his debut at some point this year due to being one of the top depth options in AAA this season and claims a bench spot next year when Jaso’s contract expires.

  • Enough! Good sign it’s time to go back to Bradenton.