Injury Updates: Gregory Polanco Takes At-Bats at Pirate City, Resumes Throwing

BRADENTON, Fla. — Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco will not make the trip to Montreal, staying behind because of a combination of his left shoulder discomfort and a passport issue that may also prevent Starling Marte from making the trip.

Polanco and Marte were with the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic while the Pirates were applying for visas for them to travel into Canada and have not received that paperwork back yet. General manager Neal Huntington said he expects to get Marte’s paperwork back on Wednesday. But the team was leaning toward holding back Polanco anyway. With his visa stats uncertain, the team decided he’s better off getting more work in at Pirate City.

“We feel that we are better off controlling his environment, and we are also having a passport problem with Polanco,” Huntington said. “In his case, we were leaning towards that, anyway. But the passport glitch has certainly made that more likely.”

Trainer Todd Tomczyk confirmed that the team is being especially cautious with Polanco’s shoulder because it is the same arm that he injured during the 2016 season, which limited him to pinch-hitting only for a stretch. Polanco returned to taking batting practice on Monday, and took his first live at-bats today, getting ten at-bats at Pirate City. After the day, he told Tim Williams that he was feeling good and got some good work in.

“No problem. I feel good,” Polanco said about his shoulder. “No injury or nothing. My shoulder is getting better.”

Polanco said that his shoulder was sore from throwing so much. He threw today from 90 feet, and said that he’s going to be throwing in a game on Friday to see how things feel. He will get a day off tomorrow. We will have a live report and an update after that game.

Other Injury Updates

**Huntington said that there is no issue for Francisco Cervelli because his Italian team returned from the WBC in time to submit the paperwork probably and that there should not be a passport issues for Marte or Polanco when the Pirates travel to Toronto in August.

**Catcher Chris Stewart, meanwhile is “optimistic” about his chances of being ready for opening day. Stewart’s left groin strain has been progressing and he’s returned to catching bullpens, receiving drills, hitting and throwing.

“I didn’t think it was too bad after the initial onset,” he said. “The only the thing to determine at this point is whether we want to push it, whether it’s worth it to push it or not. As long as everything keeps going well, I think we should be good.”

The plan is for Stewart to play in back-to-back nine-inning games sometime later this week. That will probably also mean a Florida stay for Stewart while the team goes to Montreal.

**Francisco Cervelli started and caught on Tuesday, but Jacob Stallings is in the lineup Wednesday. Cervelli has still not caught on back-to-back days since returning to the Pirates from the WBC.

“We’re going to be talking about Francisco’s foot from time to time, amongst other body parts,” Tomczyk said. “Don’t be surprised if that rears its ugly head sometime during the course of the year, but he’s in a good position to go out and compete and he’s in a really good position since coming back from the WBC to start the season overall pretty healthy.”

Tomcyzk added that the only issue with Cervelli’s foot is the wear and tear of his position.

  • This arm stuff with Polanco is concerning. He is young, and this became an OBVIOUS problem last year from July onwards, his arm was no better than mine over those last couple months…..why is he having arm problems like this at his age if there is “no injury” I’m pretty dubious in that regard. If he can’t “throw” like we know he can throw……..he can’t play left field.

    March 30, 2017 8:26 am

    With the shoulder problems of the recent past, I do not understand how Polanco got into this mess again. Wasn’t he on a program to closely monitor his shoulder to avoid falling into this hole? …or did he stop throwing at the very first “hint” of a problem?

  • Two injured catchers to begin the season… we go again. Hey Elias and Jacob, get ready!

  • Is it just me, or do the Pirates really like Jacob Stallings? He went from a guy that was drafted into an org depth/future coach role, and has morphed into the 4th string catcher who will get multiple major league games simply due to the frailty of our catchers, and his ability to handle a pitching staff.

    • Alan Saunders
      March 30, 2017 11:56 pm

      He’s like having an extra pitching coach around. All the young pitchers love him.

  • Shoulder sore from throwing so much where? WBC?

  • I know this is a bit premature but I do worry about Polanco. He does seem to be a gangly guy who never quite makes it through a year healthy with either his shoulder or knees. I worry that he is transitioning from a young Dave Parker to an old Dave Parker without the peak MVP seasons in between.

  • Alan is there anyway to get text updates on Chris Stewart left groin? just kidding.

  • We’re gonna get a .280/20HR/80RBI year out of Greg. Which is much needed with the loss of Kang & Joyce. Now who to bat first?

  • Is there a reported medical diagnosis on Cervelli’s foot? Sounds like a chronic issue and not something that was related to a single incident, which is concerning. If I recall, I believe it bothered him last season as well, but I don’t remember what’s been reported about it in the past.