ShareThis Page

Pirates notebook: Harrison productivity could benefit Polanco

| Sunday, June 8, 2014, 4:39 p.m.

Whenever top prospect Gregory Polanco arrives, Pirates right fielder Josh Harrison will need to find a new home. And that new home could really be many new residences.

General manager Neal Huntington said Harrison has earned consistent playing time going forward, and he could fill a role of super-utility player, not only subbing in at his usual corner outfield spots and third base — where Pedro Alvarez struggles with left-handed pitching — but also at shortstop.

“It's a great problem to have,” Huntington said. “His versatility may allow us to rest some guys, which is a wonderful thing. This has become a game about depth. You look at the A's and some of the better teams out there and they don't have guys playing a 150 games. They move guys around the field, and they are creative with their lineups. This gives us an opportunity to potentially do that. He's earned the opportunity to stay in the lineup.”

Huntington added that the spark Harrison has provided atop the lineup might also allow the club to ease Polanco in at a less pressure-filled spot in the batting order

“It would be a great thing to drop Gregory into a less-demanding role,” Huntington said. “It's what the Cardinals have done for years. Allen Craig and Albert Pujols did not come in and hit fourth. Those Indians clubs I was a part of in the 1990s, Manny Ramirez came up and hit eighth, Jim Thome hit seventh. You put them in a situation where they don't have too much pressure on their shoulders.”

• Huntington offered no clear timetable Sunday for the arrival of Polanco. “Every day that goes by that he continues to be successful gives us that much more comfort. ... In an ideal world we'd like to get him some more plate appearances down there. What he's doing has allowed us to shorten that timeframe.”

• Manager Clint Hurdle said Charlie Morton was moved back a day to Monday so he could have extra time to work on his sinker.

• Hurdle said he planned to give Gaby Sanchez three consecutive starts over Ike Davis at first base, beginning on Sunday. “(Davis) is working on some things. I'm going to give him some time to work on some things.” Davis has cooled in June after a productive May.

— Travis Sawchik

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.