Placido Polanco on bases

Placido Polanco to undergo MRI exam after finally revealing hip injury to Phillies

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Placido Polanco has played through several injuries this season with limited success, following up an excellent April by hitting just .223 with a .544 OPS in 63 games since.

And now he’s headed back to Philadelphia to undergo an MRI exam on his sore left hip, which Polanco revealed yesterday had been bothering him for about a month before finally causing him to leave Saturday’s game in the eighth inning.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made it clear that Polanco did not suffer the hip injury from Eli Whiteside’s quasi-tackle during the bench-clearing scuffle with the Giants, telling Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com: “Absolutely not. He said he’s had it for some time, but we were not made aware of it until now.”

Playing through pain is usually seen as a positive thing in the world of sports, often leading to praise being heaped on the injured players, but when their performance suffers while remaining in the lineup and/or keeping an injury secret that often gets brushed under the rug. Polanco has been a terrible hitter for going on four months now, so while noble his efforts to play through and even conceal injuries haven’t done the Phillies much good and could have him at less than full strength for the playoffs.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.