SAN DIEGO -- Contrary to widespread reports Wednesday, when the Pirates and Brewers meet Friday night in Pittsburgh, they will not be be doing so with top prospect Gregory Polanco in right field.
Polanco, the Bucs' prospect jewel, may already have one foot in PNC Park's right field. But his other foot will not land Friday, as various Internet outlets were reporting Wednesday.
A high-ranking Pirates official told MLB.com as those reports spread, "Club officials have not made a decision on when to call up Polanco." Another club official stressed, "Polanco will not be in Pittsburgh on Friday."
Polanco remained in the lineup of the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians for their game Wednesday night in Syracuse.
However, it must be acknowledged that the first reports of Polanco's imminent promotion came from PiratesProspect.com, a site tightly looped into the organization's farm system that usually has first-hand knowledge of planned transactions.
The latest rumors of Polanco's arrival have added credibility because he is believed to have comfortably passed the date that would have exposed him to an added year of salary arbitration as a Super Two player.
Were Polanco to join the Pirates on Friday, he would end the season with 115 days of service time. The projected cutoff at the end of this year is two years and 128 days. That cutoff has never been lower than two years and 122 days, which occurred after the 2013 and 2010 seasons.
Polanco, MLB.com's 12th-ranked prospect, has put up gaudy numbers at Triple-A Indianapolis this season. He has hit .351 with six homers, 47 RBIs, a .956 OPS and 14 stolen bases. He's had Pirates fans clamoring for his promotion all season, especially after posting a .400 batting average in April, and he'll likely hit first in the Bucs' order, a spot where he's been used recently in the Minors.
First playing professional baseball for the Pirates in the Dominican summer league at the age of 17, Polanco has a .287/.358/.436 slash line in six years in the Minors. His path to the Majors was fast-tracked in 2013 as Polanco, 22, started the year with Class A Advanced Bradenton and ended it in Indianapolis with a 68-game stint with Double-A Altoona sandwiched between.
Polanco, who stands at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, will eventually play right field in Pittsburgh, joining an outfield with Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, which has the potential to be one of the better defensive outfields in the Majors.
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.Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less