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Pirates demote Polanco among a flurry of roster moves

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Justin K. Aller

Pittsburgh had to do something, so now they are shuffling the deck chairs to see if the feng shui can carry them to a playoff berth. They have announced that they are demoting rookie Gregory Polanco, who started off well but has severely cooled. He was hitting .241/.308/.349 with an 88 wRC+. Polanco turns 23 in twenty days.

Additionally, the Pirates have promoted Jose Tabata to take Polanco's space on the roster. He was hitting .289/.327/.331 but hasn't appeared in a major league game since June 22nd.

Clint Barmes has also been recalled from his injury rehab assignment. He's hit .239/.320/.284 in limited time. To make room for Barmes, Pittsburgh has designated Jayson Nix for assignment. Nix, who has spent time with eight teams since debuting with Colorado in 2008, was hitting a wafer-thin .111/.158/.111 since coming over from Philadelphia.

The Pirates have carried one of the better offenses in the National League all season, but pitching struggles and injuries have left them with a thin, uneven rotation that has gotten by as much on skill as it has on good timing and a combination of mysticism and magic. Gerrit Cole coming back will be a big indicator of where this Pittsburgh season is headed, much more so than Tabata and Polanco. The onus is on the pitching to match the offense's call.