After playing through bone chips in his elbow for most of the season Placido Polanco was absent for Roy Halladay’s no-hitter by sitting out Game 1 of the NLDS yesterday with a back injury, but the veteran third baseman is expected to rejoin the Phillies’ lineup for Game 2 tomorrow.
As for how he suffered the injury, Polanco apparently tweaked his back while getting out of his car Monday, although he was unsure exactly how it happened:
They asked me how and I really couldn’t say anything. That’s probably the only drastic move I made, getting out of the car. It was raining, and I got out of the car. And that’s it. But I didn’t slip or anything.
Not exactly encouraging words for Phillies fans considering Polanco is 35 years old and signed for the next two seasons. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. called the injury “kind of freaky.”
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.