Rookie outfielder Gregory Polanco played hero for the Pirates last night and made some history along the way.
Playing in just his fourth major league game, Polanco went 5-for-7 with a go-ahead two run homer and three runs scored in an 8-6 win over the Marlins in 13 innings. He had singles in the first, fifth, sixth, and eighth innings before going deep in the 13th. Check out the video of his first major league home run below:
OK, so here’s the history part. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Polanco collected five hits and a home run in a game quicker than any player in the modern era (since 1900). Mike Lansing was the previous record-holder, as he had five hits and a home run in his fifth major league game in 1993. Meanwhile, Polanco is the first player with a five-hit game within the first four games of his career since Cecil Travis did it for the Washington Senators in his major league debut back on May 16, 1933. We’re talking about 81 years, folks.
While it’s still fair to ask if the Pirates should have considered calling him up sooner, he’s been worth the wait so far.
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!