It’s the second week of September — crunch time in Major League Baseball. And Phillies second baseman Placido Polanco knows it.
The 34-year-old has been diagnosed with a small fracture in his left elbow and will require offseason surgery, but told the Associated Press Thursday that he plans to finish out the year as an active member of the Phils’ everyday lineup.
“I have a broken elbow, but it is rather small and will be operated on
at the end of the year,” Polanco told The AP in a
telephone interview. “It is something minor, less than half an hour [the
surgery], and rehabilitation will take only a month. I have not been
operated on before because I would have lost the season if I did it.”
Polanco acknowledged that the injury will affect his ability to hit for power down the stretch. But the Phillies don’t exactly have a better option at third base and 80% of Placido is better than 100% of a would-be replacement.
The Phillies have have a one-game lead over the Braves in the National League East.
UPDATE: MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki says this is old news. Polanco, apparently, has been telling reporters that he has a bone spur in his elbow since June.
Andy Pettitte, on the disabled list since mid-July with a strained left groin, made his first rehab start on Thursday at Double-A Trenton. It might be his only one.
According to Chad Jennings of The Journal News, Pettitte fired four scoreless innings and allowed only two hits while striking out four. He topped out at just 51 pitches — 37 of which were strikes — but he looked effective enough and the Yanks may go ahead and bring him back to the major leagues early next week.
Look for an official decision from manager Joe Girardi and Co. over the weekend.
Pettitte, 38, had an 11-2 record, a 2.88 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP over 18 starts before getting injured. He is obviously going to play a major role in October for the AL East-leading Yanks, who are seeking their 28th World Series title. That impact may be felt sooner than expected.
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins tweaked his right hamstring after hitting a third-inning double on Wednesday night and then further injured the hammy while coming around to score moments later. But it doesn’t sound like a serious issue.
According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Phils manager Charlie Manuel said Thursday that Rollins should be back in the lineup within the next few days.