ST. LOUIS -- It's like the final scene of "The Poseidon Adventure" this morningin the Lou, with the sun peeking over the Arch after a loud, stormy night. In a few hours, I'm off to Bawl'mer, where I hear it's gonna be even wetter and colder the next coupla days.
Anyway, I spoke Sunday with GM Neal Huntington and asked about everybody’s No. 1 topic: Gregory Polanco, Superstar. Huntington insisted the Super 2 thing “is not a driving factor” when management decides when to call up a promising prospect. When I tweeted that quote, it got a lot of responses, some of the laced with four-letter words. (Remember, folks, I’m keeping my Twitter feed a family-friendly place. Drop an F-bomb = blocked.)
So, let’s pretend for a moment that it’s really not about the money. Why, then, is Polanco still mashing balls all over Victory Field instead of PNC Park?
“He’s continuing to refine some of the intricacies of his game,” Huntington said. “Somebody asked the other day for a detailed list of what he’s working on. When Andrew (McCutchen) was coming up, I gave a detailed list as to what he was working on, then watched major league teams attack those weaknesses I’d identified in spring training. So, I’m not going to give you a detailed script that opposing teams can attack when Gregory gets here.”
That seems a bit disingenuous. Opposing teams have scouts and coaches who compile and analyze massive digital libraries of the swings, steals and catches Polanco has made. They aren’t clicking on Triblive.com every morning to figure out how to pitch to Polanco.
Whatever. I also asked newbie Casey Sadler for his impressions of Polanco and how the soon-to-be third piece of the Dream Outfield is handling the waiting game in Indy: “He’s very humble, very level-headed. Just goes about his work in the right way. He’s real fun to play with. He understands that he’s there to get work in and get experience. He’s still young. He’s handling it very professionally.”
For more about Polanco and when he might arrive in the big leagues, check out my story Tuesday’s Trib. That is, if there are any copies left on the news stands after opposing pitchers swoop them up to glean clues about Polanco’s weaknesses at the plate.
– Rob Biertempfel