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.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.