From Jay Greenberg of MLB.com comes word that Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco has experienced renewed back soreness after trying to take batting practice the past two days.
Polanco has been sidelined since July 4 with a bulging disk. He tried to play down the severity of the injury at first, not landing on the disabled list until July 15, but it seems now that he’s coming to grips with the fact that he must rest. The Phillies are said to be doubtful that the 35-year-old will feel well enough to be activated Wednesday, the first day he’s eligible.
“It’s sore,” Polanco said. “It might be just because I hadn’t hit for three days and that’s the reason. I don’t know. I’m not going to hit [Sunday] — let it calm down and see how it feels.”
The 14-year veteran is batting .274/.331/.346 with 11 doubles and four homers in 83 games this season. Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez have been sharing starting duties at the hot corner in his absence.
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”