Thursday, June 11, 2015

A day of Jorge

Jorge Polanco
turns 22 next month.
Paul Molitor was pretty blunt about Jorge Polanco's call-up on his pre-game radio appearance: One day. Molitor just didn't want to manage even one day with a two-man bench, especially in a series with Kansas City. Off day today, and Eddie Rosario is expected back for Friday.

Polanco started at shortstop, got a hit, drew a walk, hit another ball hard and had ... adventures in the field. Some nice plays, some misplays. He was charged with one error and was at least tangentially involved in two others. (At least one beat writer, Mike Berardino, suggested on Twitter that Torii Hunter's flip to nowhere was because Polanco wasn't where he was supposed to be, and the Joe Mauer throwing error had Polanco as its target.)

I saw Polanco play a game at short two years ago in Cedar Rapids, and my immediate impression at the time was that his throwing arm is a bit weak for the position. I expect shortstops to show me throws to first that sizzle. Now, there have been outstanding shortstops who didn't have that kind of arm -- Ozzie Smith after his shoulder injury, for example. So its possible for Polanco to be a major league shortstop without a Cal Ripken cannon. But he can't be the human pinball bumper he resembled at times Wednesday.

My take on Polanco: As a hitter, he's major-league ready. I believe in his bat. I think he's best off at second base. The Twins have Brian Dozier at second, and while I can make a case for ranking Polanco ahead of Dozier, it's largely age based (Polanco is about six years younger). Dozier has more power, and he's established himself as a quality second baseman.

If it weren't for the shortstop vacancy, I would expect the Twins to auction off one of them, most likely Polanco. But there's no urgency.


  1. MB drinks the kool aid... Polanco was moving TOWARD RF when he booted that ball.. and Torii - who later decided he had enough of the game in the 8th - side armed that throw to no where... the ball should have been thrown in to 2b, not LF. Was thinking you would have put that on the continued misadventures of Torii's fielding lol As far as 2b goes - we already know the team will hang onto Dozier past his window of trade value anyway

  2. Berardino is easily the most skeptical of the metro beat writers or columnists about Hunter and his defense. Had that come from anybody else, I wouldn't have mentioned it.