On the mend, Taillon visits mates at PNC

May 16th, 2017

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander , who had surgery on May 8 for suspected testicular cancer, stopped by to see his teammates at PNC Park early Tuesday afternoon. The Pirates announced last week that Taillon's treatment plan is pending further testing following the operation performed by Dr. John C. Lyne at Allegheny General Hospital.

"Normal Jamo. Came in like any other day and had a conversation. It was great," said. "It definitely doesn't deserve to happen to somebody like him, but that's life. He's battling through it."

After the Pirates' 10-inning win over the D-backs in Arizona on Sunday, Taillon tweeted that he gets "way more nerves and butterflies watching these games than I do pitching in em! What a game, and way to finish the trip."

Before Tuesday's game, the Pirates invited fans to sign a get-well card for Taillon on the river walk.

Polanco out of lineup

Pirates right fielder was not in the starting lineup against the Nationals on Tuesday night at PNC Park, sidelined another day by a tight left hamstring.

Polanco sustained the injury during Sunday's series finale in Arizona while running down a fly ball in right field. His discomfort was obvious in his next at-bat, when he took a weak swing and pulled up while running down the line to first base.

Polanco said he was feeling "better" on Tuesday afternoon but did not think he would be able to run, limiting his availability in the series opener. Polanco said he would be evaluated before the game to see how he felt and determine if he was able to hit off the bench.

started in Polanco's place, playing right field and batting cleanup. started in left, where Polanco began the season. The Pirates decided last week to shift Polanco from left to right field, his former position.

The injury comes at a frustrating time for Polanco, who felt he was finally heating up after a rough start at the plate. Polanco is batting .252/.336/.370 with one home run and nine RBIs on the year, but he is 11-for-33 with a .934 OPS over his last 10 games.

Tucker honored

Shortstop prospect Cole Tucker, the Pirates' first-round Draft pick in 2014, was named the Florida State League Player of the Week on Tuesday. The 20-year-old hit .435 with three doubles, two triples and three homers last week and put together a four-hit, two-homer, seven-RBI game on Friday.

Tucker, the Pirates' fifth-ranked prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, is hitting .289/.370/.430 with 24 steals in 35 games for Class A Advanced Bradenton.

Bat Girl recognized

In a ceremony before Tuesday's game, the Pirates recognized their Honorary Bat Girl, Christine Needles. The Honorary Bat Girl contest recognizes fans who have been affected by breast cancer while demonstrating a commitment to battle the disease. Needles also received a personalized Pirates Bat Girl jersey and room for herself, family and friends in the Pirates Charities suite on Tuesday night.

Needles was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2004 at the age of 40. In October 2007, she was diagnosed with a new tumor in her lung, two tumors in the lymph nodes in her chest and a golf ball-sized tumor in her cerebellum. Needles also supports multiple cancer support groups in the Pittsburgh community.