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With season a wash, Polanco readies for 2020

Pirates pick up lefty reliever Wang as a waiver claim
@MannyOnMLB
August 31, 2019

DENVER -- It appears injured Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco will not return to the lineup this season. He was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL on Saturday to make room on the 40-man roster after Pittsburgh claimed left-hander Wei-Chung Wang off waivers from the A's.

DENVER -- It appears injured Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco will not return to the lineup this season. He was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL on Saturday to make room on the 40-man roster after Pittsburgh claimed left-hander Wei-Chung Wang off waivers from the A's.

Polanco had surgery last September to stabilize a dislocated left shoulder and repair the labrum after he slid awkwardly into second base against the Marlins on Sept. 7. He returned to Pittsburgh's lineup on April 22, but inflammation developed in the same shoulder in mid-June, and he has been sidelined since then.

"I think the [transfer to the 60-day IL] is procedural in the fact that he's still working through some things," manager Clint Hurdle said Saturday. "He's tried to put every effort and energy in trying to get back, and I don't think it's worked out as quickly as he'd like. I know his focus was to finish, and I'm not even sure what date that puts him out. I think it wipes him out for the season.

"So the focus will now be on what's next for next year, and some freedom of mind that he's still not on a time-sensitive calendar to get back if he's not ready. And maybe understanding, too, what his conception of being ready was at one time. It may have changed a little bit. And he's going to have all that winter to work through it and get really strong and conditioned for next spring, just focus on being the best player he can be at that time when he walks in the door."

Polanco was having the best offensive campaign of his career when his 2018 season was cut short, slashing .254/.340/.499 with 23 home runs and 12 steals in 130 games. Upon his return in April, he got off to a good start, hitting .317 with five doubles, a triple and two homers over his first 15 games. But from that point through June 16, he hit just .194 over 27 games.

Wang, 27, had a 3.33 ERA over 20 appearances for Oakland before he was designated for assignment. He is in the midst of his third stint in the Majors, having pitched for the Brewers in 2014 and '17. The Pirates originally signed Wang back in 2011, but he was taken by Milwaukee in the 2013 Rule 5 Draft. He's expected to join the club in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster and 25-man roster, if he was on that. Within seven days of the transaction, the player must either be released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.