PITTSBURGH -- After an injury-riddled 2017 campaign, Gregory Polanco made it clear all spring he hoped to play 162 games this season. He's willing to settle for 161."Last year was enough," Polanco said before Sunday's 5-0 win over the Reds at PNC Park. "I'm going to go play and help
PITTSBURGH -- After an injury-riddled 2017 campaign, Gregory Polanco made it clear all spring he hoped to play 162 games this season. He's willing to settle for 161.
"Last year was enough," Polanco said before Sunday's 5-0 win over the Reds at PNC Park. "I'm going to go play and help my team and do my best."
Batting second and playing right field, Polanco returned to the lineup and hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning after sitting out Saturday night with right foot discomfort.
Polanco said he wanted to play Saturday and declared himself available off the bench, but his swollen foot -- the result of a foul ball on Friday night -- led the Bucs to sit him. He tested out his foot on Sunday morning before being cleared to start.
"I can play," Polanco said, "so I'm going to play."
Explaining Siegrist's suspension
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said left-hander Kevin Siegrist, who is on the Triple-A suspended list after failing to report to Indianapolis, "just does not feel he should pitch in the Minor Leagues or needs to pitch in the Minor Leagues at this point."
The Pirates signed the 28-year-old Siegrist, who pitched well for the Cardinals before struggling last season, to a Minor League deal during Spring Training. That contract included a sort of upward mobility clause that mandated Pittsburgh must make Siegrist available to all 29 clubs if he didn't make the Bucs' Opening Day roster.
The Pirates informed Siegrist he wouldn't break camp with them, made him available and did not receive an offer, so they assigned him to Triple-A. Siegrist did not report. Siegrist's agent made it clear that his problem is not with the Pirates, Huntington said, but with the idea of pitching in the Minors.
The Pirates are keeping the door open for Siegrist to return, Huntington said, as they still believe he can help their Major League bullpen if he gets more consistent work and rebuilds his arm strength.
"Our hope is that he'll say he's ready to go, he's ready to go compete," Huntington said. "If we have the opportunity and we still have the interest, we'd reinstate him from the suspended list at that point and put him somewhere."
Around the horn
• The Pirates used their standard lineup on Sunday afternoon, the third time Pittsburgh has run out the same starting eight of Josh Harrison, Polanco, Starling Marte, Josh Bell, Corey Dickerson, Francisco Cervelli, Colin Moran and Jordy Mercer in that order. Last year, the Pirates' most common lineup took the field only five times.
Manager Clint Hurdle would prefer more stability in the lineup this year, which is why he's anchored Harrison to the leadoff spot and Bell as the cleanup hitter.
"Sometimes you have the personnel that can help you make that happen," Hurdle said.
• Right-hander Joe Musgrove (shoulder muscle strain) has not yet resumed throwing but should do so in the coming days. When he returns from the disabled list, Huntington said, it won't be as a reliever.
"Our intent is to put him right back in the rotation and let him be the starter we believe he can be," Huntington said.
• Huntington said Austin Meadows, the Pirates' top position-player prospect, will bounce between center and left field in Triple-A. Kevin Newman will be Indianapolis' primary shortstop, though fellow prospect Kevin Kramer will also get work there. Jose Osuna, one of the Pirates' last Spring Training roster cuts, will spend most of his time at third base early on this season.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.