Placido Polanco undergoes successful elbow surgery

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Placido Polanco underwent successful surgery on his left elbow Friday, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Bothered by a bone spur and tendinitis in his elbow for most of the season, the 35-year-old required four cortisone injections in order to play 132 regular season games and eight playoff games.

“It went very well and we are fully expecting Placido to be 100 percent by Spring Training,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “We hope to have him swinging the bat again within 10 weeks, around early January.”

Despite the injury, Polanco still managed to hit .298/.339/.386 with six home runs and 52 RBI in 554 at-bats this season, nearly identical to his offensive production from 2009 with the Tigers. He also didn’t skip a beat in his transition from second base back to the hot corner, ranking as one of the top defensive third basemen in the majors, according to UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) on Fangraphs.

Signed to a three-year, $18 million contract last December, Polanco is owed $5.25 million in 2011, $6.25 million in 2012 and either a $5.5 mutual option or $1 million buyout in 2013.

Angel Hernandez made a great call on a tough play

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Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.

With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.

The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:

Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab of Andrew Knapp‘s face mask when the catcher tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:

Yoenis Cespedes leaves game with pulled hamstring

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The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.

First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:

The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.

Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.