Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review chronicles the rise of Pirates prospect Gregory Polanco, who signed in 2009 as a skinny 17-year-old. Polanco is now 6'5" and 230 pounds, and walked as often as he struck out in Double-A last season. The outfielder's speed, despite his tremendous size, stands out, says Pirates Latin American Scouting Director Rene Gayo. "Guys that big don't move that fast," Gayo said. "You're basically looking at a guy the size of Jim Thome running around." Here are more Central notes:
- In an honest, open interview with ESPN's Jayson Stark, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny says he regrets not doing more to publicize the dangers of concussions as a player. Concussions ended his career as a big league backstop. "I did a very poor job, at the end of my career, of really telling people how weird and how tough the circumstances were for me after getting that last concussion, how that impacted my life," Matheny said. He's since been one of baseball's loudest voices in arguing for a total ban of home-plate collisions, Stark writes.
- The Twins are aware that they're among a dwindling group of clubs that are comfortable giving long-term deals to closers, writes Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Glen Perkins' four-year, $22.175 million deal, which guarantees him two years and $14.1MM in new money, ranks him beneath only Craig Kimbrel and Jonathan Papelbon in terms of contract size for an MLB closer.