Placido Polanco has slumped horribly following a great first month, hitting just .219 with a .541 OPS in 56 games since May 1, and admitted yesterday that he’s struggled to play through a back injury that has led to leg numbness and “doesn’t feel right.”
The injury and two-month slump didn’t keep him from being voted into the All-Star game as the National League’s starting third baseman and it won’t keep him from playing in the game either.
“I won’t probably make it any worse,” Polanco told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
He’s been playing through the injury for two months already, so another few innings isn’t going to dramatically change anything, but given how poor his performance has been during that time it would seem like an opportunity to completely rest for a few days in an effort to get on track in the second half.
Charlie Manuel told Zolecki he doesn’t have a problem with Polanco playing, calling it “a big honor for him.”
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.