Pittsburgh Pirates’ right fielder, Gregory Polanco has tested positive for COVID-19. Polanco, who has already missed two intrasquad games, was hoping for a breakout year. However, the Pirates confirm the unfortunate news that their outfielder will miss the remainder of camp. The news also comes a day before their first exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians.
The Future of Polanco
Polanco has had his fair share of injuries in the past, so the Pirates are used to his absence. When he’s healthy, he’s one the best players in the league. In 2018 had an incredible year, batting .254 and hitting 23 home runs. However, the injury bug has been Polanco’s biggest downfall.
2020 was supposed to be his year to comeback, and prove he’s just as good as anyone. Although he has tested positive, we don’t know how long he’s had the virus and the severity of it. As of now, it’s all up in the air right.
The Pirates have options to start the season. In February they signed Jarrod Dyson to a one-year, $2M deal. Dyson is a natural center fielder, however the Pirates could throw him in right.
Although Dyson is 35, he can still hit for a decent average. In 2019 he held a .230 batting average and 27 RBI. Dyson might be older, but he might also be someone the Pirates could consider using.
The other option is Bryan Reynolds, who can play any position in the outfield. In 2018, Reynolds was ranked the Pirates’ sixth best prospect according to MLB.com. Reynolds is a natural hitter, and in 2019 he had an eight-game hitting streak at one point.
Both Reynolds and Dyson are great options for the Pirates right now. Both are ready to play, and both have proven they can play. If Polanco is out longer than expected, at least the Pirates do have options.
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