Winter Leagues Recap: Polanco Back in the Starting Lineup

In Winter League action yesterday, Gregory Polanco played for the first time in five days. He batted seventh and played center field, going 1-for-4 at the plate. He is now hitting .217 in 23 AB’s, with one double, one stolen base, no walks and seven strikeouts. His teammate on Leones del Escogido, Starling Marte, did not play yesterday.

In other Dominican League action, Anderson Hernandez went 0-for-4, with an RBI. Oscar Tejada went 1-for-1 with an RBI double. It was his first game in three weeks.

In the Venezuelan League, Darren Ford went 0-for-3 in the leadoff spot. He is hitting .253 in 95 AB’s, the highest AB total among all Pirates players participating in Winter/Fall Leagues.

In Mexican League ball, Ali Solis went 0-for-3, dropping his average down to .193 in 57 AB’s.

Finally, in the Australian League, four Pirates players got into the game today for the Adelaide Bite, three of them in the starting lineup. ¬†Justin Howard batted cleanup and played first base. He went 1-for-4 with a strikeouts, raising his average to .130 after 23 AB’s. Stefan Welch had the best day, going 2-for-4, with two doubles. Playing in just his third game in the ABL, those doubles represented his first two hits of the season. Dylan Child batted eighth and was the catcher. He went 0-for-4.

Rinku Singh came in during the seventh inning and allowed two hits, but got out of the inning without allowing a run. He threw 20 pitches, 13 for strikes, retiring the side on a groundout and two fly balls. It was only the second appearance for Singh, who hit the only two batters he faced in his first outing eight days ago.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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