Phillies lose Jimmy Rollins, but activate Placido Polanco

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Jimmy Rollins was placed on the disabled list with a strained groin, but the Phillies have replaced him on the roster by activating Placido Polanco from the DL.

Polanco hasn’t played since August 6 because of a hip injury and hasn’t played well since April because of assorted health problems, but his return allows the Phillies to avoid starting both Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez in the same infield.

Of course, as bad as Valdez and Martinez have been offensively–each posting a sub-.600 OPS in part-time roles–Polanco hit just .223 with a .544 OPS in his last 63 games prior to landing on the DL. Philadelphia can coast into the playoffs, but whether or not the Phillies can get Polanco reasonably healthy and productive will be key down the stretch.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.