Tag:Placido Polanco
Posted on: September 19, 2011 11:56 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 12:26 am
 

Picking the National League's best defenders



By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Gold Gloves are one of baseball's toughest awards to decide -- and sometimes toughest to understand. Unlike many of the game's other awards, the Gold Gloves are voted on by managers and coaches, and every year it seems there's a winner or two that seems to win the award more with their bat than their glove.

Not only do some players seem to win it with something other than their glove, sometimes the award can be a lot like the Supreme Court, once you get elected, you're not going to lose your seat.

That said, it's a difficult award to vote for. There are better fielding statistics coming out every year, yet most are still in their infancy and can tell you only so much. Good defense, sometimes can be a lot like the definition Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart gave for pornograpy in Jacobelis v. Ohio in 1964: "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embrued within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it." 

With that in mind, perhaps the voters for the Gold Gloves should be the scouts, but instead I'll try my hand at picking out the best defensive players in the National League.

Catcher: Yadier Molina, Cardinals

As tough as it is to use numbers to evaluate fielders, it's even tougher with catchers. At least the numbers with other fielders have some meaning, with catchers there's so much more to what they do defensively that it's hard not to go on reputation -- and nobody has a better reputation than Molina.

Others considered: Carlos Ruiz, Phillies; Brian McCann, Braves.

First base: Joey Votto, Reds

When Votto was coming up, people knew he could hit -- that was hard to ignore -- but his reputation at first base was nowhere near as good. Even as a rookie, he often struggled, especially on throws to a pitcher covering first. Since then, he's improved every year and this year he has proven himself to be the best defensive first baseman in the league. Votto, last year's MVP, covers more ground at first than any other first baseman in the league, which means it can be tough to get a hit if you hit it on the ground to the right side of the Reds infield, beacuse of the next guy on the list.

Others considered: Albert Pujols, Cardinals. Todd Helton, Rockies.

Brandon PhillipsSecond base: Brandon Phillips, Reds

A two-time Gold Glover, Phillips should be in line for his third. There may be no other player in baseball with as long of a highlight-reel as Phillips, who seemingly makes another amazing play every night.

Others considered: Chase Utley, Phillies, Omar Infante, Marlins, Neil Walker, Pirates

Third base: Pablo Sandoval, Giants

There are players with better defensive reputations than the Kung Fu Panda, but nobody's had a better year. The advanced stats don't tell you everything yet, but they're still pretty good. Sandoval leads qualified National League third basemen in UZR (12.3), UZR/150 (21.2) and plus-minus (20). 

Others considered: Placido Polanco, Phillies; Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals.

Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

The Rockies may know a little something about drafting defensive shortstops -- they picked two of the best in the league, Tulowitzki and the Astros' Clint Barmes. Finally healthy, Barmes was outstanding defensively for the Astros, while Tulowitzki seems like the second coming of Cal Ripken. 

Others considered: Alex Gonzalez, Braves; Jose Reyes, Mets; Clint Barmes, Astros.

Left field: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies

The voting has changed this year to award Gold Gloves to each of the three outfield positions instead of three generic outfielder awards that usually went to center fielders. Carlos Gonzalez is tough to categorize, but considering he's played more games in left than any other spot, he's the easy choice here. He's started 60 games in left, 34 in right and 28 in center. He's played all three well, which isn't easy at spacious Coors Field, committing only one error on the season.

Others considered: Matt Holliday, Cardinals. Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks. Tony Gwynn, Dodgers.

Shane VictorinoCenter field: Shane Victorino, Phillies

This is one stacked category, with several deserving players. Under the old rules it would be easy, you'd have three center fielders and give them the three Gold Gloves. Under the new rules, it's a tougher choice. Victorino has had an MVP-type year, and no small part of that has been patrolling center field for the Phillies. The Flyin' Hawaiian is as good as anyone out there and his error-less season gives him the edge.

Others considered: Chris Young, Diamondbacks; Carlos Gomez, Brewers; Cameron Maybin, Padres; Rick Ankiel, Nationals; Andrew McCutchen, Pirates.

Right field: Mike Stanton, Marlins

He may be known best for the moon shots off his bat, but Stanton is a surprisingly good defensive outfielder. Stanton has the combination of athleticism and arm strength to be the best defensive right fielder in the game.

Others considered: Jay Bruce, Reds; Carlos Beltran, Giants; Jason Heyward, Braves.

Pitcher: R.A. Dickey, Mets

A knuckleball pitcher needs to field his position well -- there are plenty of bad hits coming back to the mound off poor contact. Dickey has been very good fielding his position and helped his team with his glove.

Others considered: Jake Westbrook, Cardinals; Bronson Arroyo, Reds; Hiroki Kuroda, Dodgers; Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers; Derek Lowe, Braves.

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Posted on: September 8, 2011 10:43 pm
 

Juan Pierre joins 2,000 hit club

Juan PierreBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Juan Pierre's third-inning single against the Indians' David Huff on Thursday gave him 2,000 for his career. He's the 268th player in Major League history to reach 2,000 career hits and the eight player to reach the milestone this season. Pierre's the second White Sox to reach the career mark this season, joining Paul Konerko who notched his 2,000th career hit on Aug. 23.

It was only fitting that Pierre reached 2,000 with a single -- it was the 1,667 single of his career.

Also reaching 2,000 hits this season were Carlos Lee, Orlando Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Michael Young, Scott Rolen, Adrian Beltre and Konerko. He figures to be the last to get to 2,000 this season -- but 10 players are in striking distance to reach the mark next season -- Placido Polanco (1,947), Jason Giambi (1,945), Derrek Lee (1,940), Carlos Beltran (1,895), Andruw Jones (1,880), Jimmy Rollins (1,846), Torii Hunter (1,803), Lance Berkman (1,795) and Raul Ibanez (1,774).

Pierre, 34, is the 23rd active player with 2,000 hits, led by Derek Jeter with 3,069.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Victorino's suspension reduced by one game

Shane VictorinoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino's suspension has been reduced to two games following an appeal, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News reports. He was originally suspended three games.

Victorino was the only player suspended after an Aug. 5 incident in San Francisco in which Victorino was hit by Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez and benches emptied. Victorino had to be restrained by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski and made contact with the umpire. Victorino tackled a Giants coach, but claimed he was coming to the aid of a teammate.

Ramirez, Giants catcher Eli Whiteside and Phillies infielder Placido Polanco were also fined as a result of the incident.

Victorino's suspension begins with Thursday night's game against the Diamondbacks and he will also miss Friday's game with the Nationals.

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Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:29 pm
 

Polanco to DL with sports hernia

By Matt Snyder

Because we haven't posted enough about injuries lately -- please note dripping sarcasm -- we have another to pass along. Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco is headed to the disabled list after he was unable to see the field yet again Tuesday night (Todd Zolecki via Twitter).

Polanco hadn't played since August, as he's suffering from a sports hernia. Many times, this injury forces athletes to undergo surgery, which would most likely end Polanco's season. He will not, however, have this surgery and instead reportedly intends to play through a bit of pain the rest of the season, after he returns from the DL, of course.

Polanco, 35, has dealt with injuries several times this season and they have limited him to just 89 games. He's hitting .275/.330/.342 and made the All-Star team last month. 

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Posted on: August 16, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 5:33 pm
 

Hamels to skip start, but won't go on DL

Cole HamelsBy C. Trent Rosecrans

An MRI showed no structural damage in Cole Hamels' left shoulder, but the team will still skip his next start just in case.

Hamels' MRI showed "minor inflammation," but not structural damage, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The Phillies not only have a lead of eight-and-a-half games in the National League East, but also had the last two days off because of a rainout and a scheduled day off, giving the entire rotation a chance to rest, so Hamels' absence one game through the rotation should have little effect on the team. He was scheduled to pitch again on Friday against the Nationals. Hamels picked up the loss in five innings of work on Friday, giving up six hits and three runs in five innings. His four walks in the game tied a season-high.

Placido PolancoGelb also reports the team will likely put third baseman Placido Polanco on the disabled list with a sports hernia. Polanco hasn't played for 10 days, so the move would be retroactive and allow him to return in just five days. 

Polanco said he doesn't want to undergo surgery until the offseason.

"[Doctors] said I can manage it," Polanco told Gelb. "I trust them. I'm going to go with that. Surgery is not an option."

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 10:28 pm
 

Polanco hopes to play through sports hernia

Placido PolancoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters third baseman Placido Polanco has been diagnosed with a sports hernia, but may avoid the disabled list.

Polanco underwent an MRI on Monday and will receive a shot on Tuesday and be re-evaluated on Friday. If Polanco has to undergo surgery, Amaro said doctors told him Polanco could return in three to four weeks.

"Frankly a lot of guys have played through this injury," Amaro told reporters, including Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. "It's just a matter of the discomfort. If it's too great, we'd probably have to do a procedure, but it would not necessarily end his season.

"I think we can manage this and get him through the season, but we'll know more Friday."

Amaro noted Raul Ibanez played through a sports hernia in 2009 and it was more severe than Polanco's injury.

Michael Martinez got the start for Monday's game against the Dodgers. Wilson Valdez will also get some starts in Polanco's place.

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 6:18 pm
 

Victorino suspended 3 games, 3 others fined

By Matt Snyder

Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino has received a three-game suspension for his role in a Phillies-Giants brawl Friday night, Major League Baseball announced Monday. Teammate Placido Polanco and the Giants' Eli Whiteside and Ramon Ramirez were fined, but not suspended. Victorino has appealed the suspension, meaning he'll continue to play until the appeal is heard by Major League Baseball.

Victorino was hit by a Ramirez pitch in the sixth inning and began walking toward the mound. The pitch came soon after a Jimmy Rollins stolen base, with the Phillies sporting a six-run lead. As Victorino approached Ramirez, Polanco started to run in from second base, when he was tackled by Whiteside -- the Giants' catcher, setting off the fracas.

According to MLB, "Victorino's aggressive actions prolonged the bench-clearing incident."

The Giants have denied the HBP was intentional while the Phillies have maintained it was.

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 7:19 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 7:32 pm
 

Polanco won't return from DL on Wednesday

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Placido PolancoPhillies third baseman Placido Polanco will not return to the team on Wednesday when he is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list. Polanco, voted by the fans to start the All-Star Game, hasn't played since July 4 because of back pain. On Monday, he told reporters he was still in pain from the bulging disc.

Polanco is currently on anti-inflammatory medication and may need an epidural injection.

"The idea was thrown out by doctors in Philly," Polanco told reporters, including Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. "They say they really help. I've tried rest and medication. I'm at the point where I think I'll have the injection. It's still sore."

Roy Oswalt had an epidural injection earlier this month for the bulging disc in his back and is reportedly feeling better.

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