Phillies activate Placido Polanco from disabled list

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Philadelphia activated Placido Polanco from the disabled list after the third baseman missed the past four weeks with a back injury.

Polanco struggled before being shut down, hitting just .255 with a .628 OPS in 82 games at age 36, and the Phillies seem likely to choose a $1 million buyout over his $5.5 million option for next season.

Kevin Frandsen was the primary third baseman in Polanco’s absence and played surprisingly well in 20 games, hitting .329 with a .757 OPS.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.