Pirates notebook: Polanco, Puig held out of series opener
The Pirates' and Dodgers' dynamic young right fielders were missing from their respective starting lineups Monday.
Gregory Polanco got the day off against left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Yasiel Puig missed his second straight start with a sore left hand.
Polanco entered the day hitless in his past 11 at-bats. After batting .288 in 19 games in June with a .375 slugging percentage and .374 on-base percentage and 10 RBIs, he is batting .194 in 16 games (14 starts) in July with a .258 slugging percentage, a .275 on-base percentage and four RBIs.
“He continues to play, continues to fight, continues to battle,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “This wasn't unexpected from us by any means, and we just have to keep working with him and keep reminding him that this is the major leagues.
“You do well here, you're not going to go up again. You have to figure out how to reboot and recalibrate, and that's what he's working on right now.”
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Puig, who was hit by a pitch from the Cardinals' Joe Kelly, was supposed to get an X-ray Monday afternoon. It was unclear whether he'd be available off the bench.
“We don't feel like there's going to be anything on this X-ray, but finding that out will make us feel even better,” Mattingly said. “We feel pretty good right now. It will become just a matter of time.”
Bastardo may be trade target
With the July 31 trade deadline looming, the Pirates were among at least 10 teams who had scouts in Philadelphia on Monday to watch the Phillies play the San Francisco Giants. Although they have little interest in pricey starter Cliff Lee, the Pirates are checking out left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo.
Bastardo, 28, has made 42 appearances and has a 3.38 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. He's not a lefty specialist, either. He has held left-handed batters to a .143 average and right-handers to a .163 average.
The Phillies have three lefties in their bullpen, so they likely are willing to deal. The cost could be something along the lines of a position player or two from either the Single- or Double-A level.
Bastardo is making $2 million this season and has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining.
OK to say no
Discussing the off-field lifestyle adjustments Polanco has had to make at the big-league level, Hurdle relayed a story that happened in St. Louis on the last road trip.
Walking across the street from the ballpark to his hotel by himself, Polanco was stopped by fans asking for autographs. Hurdle watched the crowd grow until he decided it was time to step in.
“I got him around the arm and said, ‘Come on with me,' ” Hurdle said. “Of course you get a big kick-back, but I just said, ‘I'm sorry. I'm the bad guy here, but he doesn't have the responsibility to sign every autograph he's asked to sign every night, so I'm going to take him away.' There's a lot of newness along those lines. He's figuring it out.”
Martinez gets nod
Michael Martinez got his fifth career start in right field in place of Polanco. He started one game for the Pirates at second base, and he has made appearances at all three outfield positions, second, third and shortstop during his career.
“I just have to be the same everywhere I play,” he said. “I'm not an outfielder, really, but I just play everywhere. Whatever they need, I'll be ready for.”
Starling Marte was back in the starting lineup for the first time since Friday, when he was hit by a pitch on his batting helmet. … Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) will throw a simulated game Wednesday that will include one inning behind the screen and three with hitters. He is expected to throw 50-60 pitches. ... Josh Harrison started at third in place of Pedro Alvarez.
Karen Price and Rob Biertempfeld are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach Price at email@example.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib. Reach Biertempfel at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Pirates notebook: Locke makes bid for final rotation spot, Tabata cut
- MLB commissioner: Pirates’ success starts in the front office
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 4, Twins 2
- About face: Pirates’ Burnett now digging the shifts
- McCutchen says injury won’t prevent him from playing Opening Day
- Pirates notebook: Morton’s struggles continue during rough outing versus Astros
- Pirates’ Harrison working to use 2014 success as building block
- Pirates notebook: Worley bounces back after rough start
- Fresh Polanco hopes to speed up hands, get better results this season
- Pirates notebook: McCutchen says he’s ‘glad’ to be on field
- Forbes: Pirates worth $900 million