Anti-inflammatory medication didn’t do the trick, so Placido Polanco “had a series of injections to relieve pain and swelling caused by a bulging disc in his lower back” yesterday, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
He hasn’t been in the Phillies’ lineup since July 4 and has struggled to hit while playing through the injury for much of the season, finally opting out of the All-Star game to rest after initially saying he planned to start for the National League.
Polanco is already eligible to come off the disabled list, but there’s no timetable for his return yet and players are typically shut down for several days after receiving injections.
Philadelphia has MLB’s best record at 61-36, so rather than rushing Polanco back the Phillies’ goal should be getting him as healthy as possible for September and October so a move for help at third base isn’t needed.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.