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.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.