Placido Polanco is not in the Phillies' lineup for Game 1

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In a surprise move, Placido Polanco is not in the Phillies’ lineup for Game 1 of the NLDS later this afternoon, with Wilson Valdez starting at third base in his absence.
Polanco has had elbow problems for most of the season and needed cortisone shots down the stretch to deal with the pain from a bone chip, but told reporters yesterday that he was feeling healthy enough to play.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that a back injury, not the elbow injury, is what has Polanco on the bench.
Polanco hit .298/.336/.396 despite playing through the bone chip and primarily batted second in the Phillies’ lineup throughout the regular season, but Shane Victorino is filling that spot today while Valdez and his measly .258/.306/.360 line bat eighth. Jimmy Rollins is leading off.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.