Gregory Polanco came to the major leagues with plenty of fanfare June 10 when he was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis. Just 2 1/2 months later, he is back in the minor leagues.
The Pirates right fielder was struggling so badly in recent weeks that the Pirates optioned him to Indianapolis on Monday night before they lost 3-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Polanco’s slump extended to 1-for-30 over his last nine games Sunday when the 22-year-old went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in a 4-3 loss to the Brewers at Milwaukee.
The plan is for Polanco to return to the Pirates on Sept. 2, the day after Indianapolis’ season ends.
“The timing is off on his swing, and I don’t think the best way for him to spend the next week is sitting on the bench,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “This is an opportunity for him to get down, get some at-bats and get out of the spotlight that has been here for a week and find his way. I believe he will, and he will come back and help this ballclub in September in a positive way.”
Polanco hit .241 with six home runs and 12 stolen bases in 64 games with Pittsburgh. Earlier this year, he tore up the International League, batting .347 with seven homers and 15 steals in 62 games.
“He’s not the first player that’s had to go back down for a little more work,” Hurdle said. “It happened to me after I had been up for a year. This is only going to make him better.”