Pirates' Gregory Polanco re-injured ankle during Navy SEAL training

Jared Wickerham

The Pirates prospect hurts himself while participating in the Bucs' controversial Navy SEALS program.

Dejan Kovacevic reports that top Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco re-injured his ankle while participating in one of the Bucs' controversial Navy SEAL training sessions. Polanco sprained his ankle in August, but the Pirates had him work through drills with Navy SEALS in September, and he aggravated the injury.

It happened during a drill in which Polanco sprinted across the outfield, through an above-ground pool of ice water, then leaped into a sand pit ...

I know this because I asked Polanco himself. He described it in vivid detail.

I know this because a pitcher in his drill group independently described it the same way ...

When I initially asked the team two weeks ago about Polanco, this was the emailed reply from baseball operations — no name assigned — through a team spokesman: "Polanco was NOT injured during that workout. He actually injured his ankle during the season. He opted out of those workouts, as he has continued to battle swelling but no pain."

The piece is a blend of journalism and reporting, and Kovacevic's goal seems to be to get the Pirates' front office fired. As I write over at Bucs Dugout, the article as a whole is difficult to take seriously, and it's far from clear that these Navy SEAL drills are the bad idea Kovacevic has, from the beginning, suggested they are. It is a problem that Polanco injured his ankle this way, but the real problem might well be that the Pirates' medical staff made a bad decision in letting him participate, not that there's anything inherently wrong with the drills. In any case, expect this story to dominate most Pirates-related conversations for the next week.

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