After news broke last week that Gregory Polanco had tested positive for the coronavirus, Pirates manager Derek Shelton told reporters (including MLB.com’s Adam Berry) that the outfielder had been cleared to resume training with the club. According to Polanco’s personal Instagram page, he has already working out at PNC Park in preparation for his 2020 debut.
No specific timeline was given for when Polanco might return, after missing roughly two weeks of training and on-field action. “As soon as we feel or deem his body is ready to come back, then he will be able to come back, assessment-wise,” Shelton said. “We’re going to make sure that he’s in a position where his body is deemed healthy.”
2018 seemed like a breakout campaign for the outfielder, though the shoulder surgery that Polanco underwent late that season ended up being a lingering problem throughout 2019. Polanco played in only 42 games and hit a lackluster .242/.301/.425 over 167 plate appearances.
Assuming he can come back with a healthy shoulder and in anything close to his 2018 form, Polanco will provide a big boost to Pittsburgh’s outfield. Polanco is slated to eventually take over in right field, with he and Bryan Reynolds flanking the center field platoon of Jarrod Dyson and Guillermo Heredia.