PITTSBURGH — After two games down, Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco will be making his return to the starting lineup on Wednesday, and he’ll do it facing a familiar foe.
Polanco has 26 career plate appearance against Kyle Hendricks, the Chicago Cubs’ starting pitcher on Wednesday, and he’s hit .400/.423/.720 against him in his career. Polanco’s ten hits are the second-most he’s had against any one pitcher in his career.
So it figures to be as soft as possible of a landing for the slumping Polanco, who was given back-to-back days off on Monday and Tuesday after posting a .205/.317/.415 line over the first 52 games of the season.
“We’ll see if he can put a foot down here and get some good at-bats, some competitive at-bats out there again,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
With the time off, Hurdle said he encouraged Polanco to get away from the game a bit, as opposed to pouring himself into his work.
“I just told him to unplug,” Hurdle said. “He knows how to swing. There’s video you can watch to go back and re-visit swing paths. He’s in tune with what he needs to do and he’s aware of the challenges that he’s gone through.”
AROUND THE HORN
Earlier today, I broke down Tyler Glasnow’s adjustments to the bullpen, and how they’ve made him much more likely to stick in that role.
My column centered on the Pirates star power, or the lack thereof, as their top talents have yet to produce like it this season.
Ivan Nova is on the path back to rotation, but it’s going to be a complicated one. More in today’s injury updates.
Gm 55: ☠ (28-26) vs. 🐻 (29-22)
P Mus🌴🌴🌴 (0.00 ERA) vs. Hendricks (3.16)
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) May 30, 2018
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 30, 2018
A shower passed through and wiped-out any on-field pregame work, but the tarp is off the field and there’s some blue peaking through the clouds. It looks like we should be good for an on-time start. Weather.com keeps the odds of precipitation at or below 25 percent until 10 p.m., with a greater chance later in the evening. Game-time temperature is expected to be 80 degrees. Winds are blowing briskly at 12 MPH in from left-center field.