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.
Chris Nelson will always remember his first career stolen base.
In the eighth inning of a 5-5 game versus the Reds on Thursday, the Rockies’ utilityman took off from third base against right-hander Nick Masset, who had looked towards second base, and swiped home without a play at the plate, giving the Rockies a 6-5 lead they’d hold on to for their seventh straight victory.
Nelson, a 2004 first-round pick who made his major league debut back in June, entered the game in the eighth as a pinch-runner for Jason Giambi. Despite a strong season in Triple-A this year, the Rockies decided not to give him a real look, even though Troy Tulowitzki, Eric Young Jr. and now Ian Stewart have all spent time on the DL and Clint Barmes has been largely ineffective. Nelson has started just one game, that coming in June. He’s gone 4-for-7 in his very limited major league action.
At Colorado Springs, the recently turned 25-year-old hit .313/.376/.492 with 12 homers and seven steals in 319 at-bats.
With the come-from-behind victory, the Rockies are now 76-64. They’re 3 1/2 games back of the Padres in the NL West and four games behind the Braves in the wild card.
In losing to the Tigers on Thursday, Gavin Floyd became the first pitcher since James Baldwin in 2001 to allow 13 singles and no extra-base hits in a game.
Floyd pitched six-plus innings versus the Tigers, giving up six runs, five of them earned. He walked Austin Jackson to open the bottom of the first, but each of the following 13 batters to reach against him did so on singles. He gave up two in the first, two in the second, three in the third and four in the fourth.
Floyd bounced back from there to pitch perfect fifth and sixth innings, but he allowed two straight singles to start the seventh before being replaced by Matt Thornton. One of those runners came around to score, and the White Sox ended up losing 6-3.
Floyd became the fourth pitcher since 2000 to allow 13 singles in a game. The last was Homer Bailey on July 26, 2008. Bailey gave up 14 singles and a double over 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Rockies that day. Before that, Barry Zito surrendered 13 singles and two doubles in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Rays on July 8, 2003.
The last pitcher to duplicate Floyd’s feat, though, was Baldwin. On Aug. 29, 2001, the then Dodgers right-hander allowed 13 singles and no extra-base hits over five innings in a loss to the Rockies.
Giving up a lot of singles is nothing new for Floyd. He’s become more of a groundball pitcher, so he’s had five starts this year in which he’s allowed at least 10 hits. Among pitchers qualifying for the ERA title, Floyd ranks 12th with 74 percent of his hits allowed going for singles. Topping that list is Jaime Garcia at 79 percent.