The Indianapolis Indians swept the Columbus Clippers this weekend in Columbus. This was my first
opportunity to have the pleasure of watching Gregory Polanco play a series. Polanco certainly did not
disappoint! He showed off his arm by throwing out a runner at the plate, showcased his speed during his two
infield hits (including a bunt single), showed his plate discipline by working a walks and laying off a few
tempting pitches, and showed his ability to hit and hit for power. He finished the opening series going 6/15, 3
R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 CS (on a pitchout), and a batting line of .400/.438/.667. He hit his HR
during the 4th inning of Sunday’s game off of RHP Tyler Cloyd. Fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates can be rest
assured that he will be an instant upgrade over the Travis Snider/Jose Tabata tandem. His defense, arm, and
speed are plus tools that will pay immediate dividends, and if he can adjust to MLB pitching this summer then
he will be an immediate impact player.
Andrew Lambo sat out the first two games of the series, but started the last two at First Base. He didn’t do
anything at the plate, going 0/8 with 4 K. Lambo did have success with Indy last season, so reading too much
into his 8 AB would be premature. He also was unable to scoop up a catchable short hop throw in Saturday’s
second game, costing the team an out and Blake Davis an error. The Pirates coaching staff praised his defense
at first base this spring, so concern should not be derived from this miscue.
Chris McGuiness started the first two games at First Base and the two as the DH. He showed his typical plate
patience by drawing 3 BB and hit a home run in the series. McGuiness finished the series 3/17 with 5 K.
Brandon Cumpton started game 1 on Saturday and breezed through the Columbus lineup, scattering 6 singles
over 6 scoreless innings. As per usual, he mostly relied on his heavy sinking fastball to induce 11 groundball
outs. His velocity was consistently at 91-93 MPH, and his control was sharp as he walked only 1 batter.
Cumpton finished his day throwing an efficient 75 pitches including 46 strikes. Cumpton represents the
number one SP depth option in the minors right now, that could change when Jeff Locke returns to the
Jameson Taillon, the Pirates top pitching prospect was diagnosed with an injured ulnar collateral ligament in his
right elbow. Taillon and the Pirates have elected for Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. Tommy John
surgery usually requires a 12 month timetable before a pitcher can pitch competitively. In the short term
Taillon will lose a year of development, but should not be affected long term as he’ll begin his 2015 season
with Indianapolis when he’s ready to pitch. ‘