The Phillies have activated Placido Polanco from the 15-day disabled list, according to Martin Frank of the Wilmington News Journal. He is batting second against Randy Wells and the Cubs on Saturday afternoon.
Polanco was cleared to return after playing in minor league rehab games on Thursday and Friday. He was 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI for the GCL Phillies yesterday.
Polanco was batting .318/.349/.433 with five home runs and 27 RBI before going on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation on June 26. The hurting Phillies are batting just .224 with a .274 on-base percentage this month. Polanco’s return isn’t a cure-all and it’s not like his elbow is 100 percent, either, but he certainly represents a marked improvement over the garbage they’ve been throwing out there recently.
To make room on the roster for Polanco, the Phillies released Juan Castro.
The Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday afternoon that former major leaguer Dan Haren has been named the organization’s new pitching strategist. The role will include working with the front office, the major league coaching staff, and the analytics department.
Haren, 36, ended his 13-year playing career after the 2015 season. He finished with a 153-131 record and a 3.75 ERA across 2,419 2/3 innings.
Since retiring, Haren has been one of the more enjoyable players to follow on Twitter. He promised to teach his disciples how to tweet as part of his new responsibilities.
For a guy who won a World Series MVP Award and has been to a couple of All-Star Games, it’s amazing how many stories have been written about Pablo Sandoval‘s off-the-field exploits compared to his on-the-field exploits. Specifically, stories about his conditioning. Or lack of conditioning. Of him getting into shape, falling out of shape and getting back into shape again. It’s been this way since he emerged as an everyday player in 2009.
And it continues anew:
There is no claim here that Sandoval is, in fact, in The Best Shape of His Life. However, longtime BSOHL fans know that the claim is not about the magic words being used. The idea is that, in the offseason, players with something to prove will routinely make an effort to create the impression that they are a new man. Often it is from claiming that one is in The Best Shape of His Life. Often it comes from surrogates talking about how many pounds of fat one has lost or pounds of pure muscle one has added. Sometimes — as here — it comes in the form of showing post-workout photos.
Whatever the purpose of the photo, Sandoval is certainly looking good compared to where he was last spring:
Or at the end of the 2015 season:
Even if this is part of a plan to get Sandoval some good press heading into the 2017 season, I’m happy to see that he appears to be recovered from shoulder surgery and appears to be taking good care of himself and is thinking about his baseball futrue.
Either way, expect the Panda Weight Watch to continue at Red Sox spring training come February.