Placido Polanco “had a series of injections to relieve pain”

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Anti-inflammatory medication didn’t do the trick, so Placido Polanco “had a series of injections to relieve pain and swelling caused by a bulging disc in his lower back” yesterday, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.

He hasn’t been in the Phillies’ lineup since July 4 and has struggled to hit while playing through the injury for much of the season, finally opting out of the All-Star game to rest after initially saying he planned to start for the National League.

Polanco is already eligible to come off the disabled list, but there’s no timetable for his return yet and players are typically shut down for several days after receiving injections.

Philadelphia has MLB’s best record at 61-36, so rather than rushing Polanco back the Phillies’ goal should be getting him as healthy as possible for September and October so a move for help at third base isn’t needed.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”