SAN DIEGO -- Travis Snider made his first right-field start since May 18 for the Pirates on Tuesday night. He naturally had a lot of people wondering whether it would also be his last.
The hard-working Snider is a left-handed hitting right fielder -- matching the description of the guy behind the curtain seemingly waiting to be introduced to center stage any day. When Gregory Polanco arrives, what becomes of Snider?
Snider has been too busy producing off the Bucs' bench to give that any thought himself.
"We're here in San Diego," Snider said before the Pirates took on the Padres in the middle game of their series. "The business is the business but, at the end of the day, focusing on something that isn't here is gonna take away from what we need to do to prepare each and every night. We've got to remain focused on that. However things play out, that's how they'll play out."
Snider is part of the Pirates' National League-best pinch-hitting corps, having gone 7-for-22, with a home run and five RBIs, in that role.
The other player who figures to be most affected by Polanco's arrival is Josh Harrison, who has become an everyday player and ignited the Bucs the last couple of weeks with his production from the top of the order.
"I've always been a day-to-day guy," Harrison said with a smile. "Whatever happens, happens. I'm keeping my focus on today's game and what I can do to help us win."
Polanco, also being groomed to take over as the Bucs' leadoff batter, was in Indianapolis' No. 1 slot for the third straight game Tuesday night, at Syracuse. He was 1-for-4 with an RBI, the only one of the Indians' 5-1 loss in Syracuse. Polanco had gone 4-for-9 in his first two games atop the Indians' lineup.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has yet to get a report from Indianapolis counterpart Dean Treanor on Polanco's adjustment to the leadoff role.
"I haven't spoken with him since Sunday [prior to Polanco's leadoff debut]. I'll let Dean watch him for a few days before getting into that," Hurdle said.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less