Injured, slumping Placido Polanco will play in All-Star game


Placido Polanco has slumped horribly following a great first month, hitting just .219 with a .541 OPS in 56 games since May 1, and admitted yesterday that he’s struggled to play through a back injury that has led to leg numbness and “doesn’t feel right.”

The injury and two-month slump didn’t keep him from being voted into the All-Star game as the National League’s starting third baseman and it won’t keep him from playing in the game either.

“I won’t probably make it any worse,” Polanco told Todd Zolecki of

He’s been playing through the injury for two months already, so another few innings isn’t going to dramatically change anything, but given how poor his performance has been during that time it would seem like an opportunity to completely rest for a few days in an effort to get on track in the second half.

Charlie Manuel told Zolecki he doesn’t have a problem with Polanco playing, calling it “a big honor for him.”

Ryan Zimmerman’s spring training has been . . . weird

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Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.

While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.

Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.

I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.

On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.