Tag:Placido Polanco
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:27 am
Edited on: December 6, 2011 2:28 am

Phillies' preference is still to keep Rollins

DALLAS -- You may have heard that the Phillies talked to free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez.

It's true.

You may have heard that the Phillies' talks with Jimmy Rollins hit some obstacles.

Also true.

But here's another thing that remains as true as before: The Phillies' overwhelming desire is to have Rollins back as their shortstop.

And their show of interest in Ramirez could well be part of this.

By reaching out to Ramirez, several baseball officials suggested Monday, the Phils could be showing Rollins that they do have a suitable backup plan, and thus trying to prod him to accept a deal.

So far, Rollins has been asking the Phillies for five years, with the team preferring a three-year deal (with some sources suggesting that general manager Ruben Amaro would agree to go to four years).

It's unclear what the market for Rollins is outside Philadelphia. The Brewers have met with Dan Lozano, Rollins' agent, but people familiar with their plans say that even a three-year deal may be beyond what they would do. The Nationals are considered by some to be a possibility, but Rollins does not seem to be their primary (or even secondary) focus at this point. Perhaps the Cardinals could become involved if Albert Pujols signs elsewhere, but it's hard to count on that.

People who know Rollins aren't sure how the talented but also very proud shortstop will react to all this.

Some suggest that he could view the shorter offer from the Phillies as a sign of disrespect, and respond by telling Lozano he wants to go elsewhere. Others say it's hard to believe he would leave the Phillies spotlight to go to a team like the Brewers.

"Jimmy wants to get paid," said one official who knows him. "But Jimmy likes the big stage, too."

In the end, most in baseball seem to believe that Rollins will re-sign with the only team he has known.

If not, perhaps the Phillies will come hard after Ramirez, who they have so far shown just lukewarm interest in, sources say. Ramirez has also drawn interest from the Brewers and Angels, and one person who knows him say his strong desire is to find a team with the best chance to win.

If the Phillies signed Ramirez to replace Rollins, they would go with young Freddy Galvis at shortstop, and trade incumbent third baseman Placido Polanco (which would require eating some of the remaining $7.25 million on his contract).

Would the Phillies do that?

It's possible they would. It's certain that their first choice would be to simply re-sign Jimmy Rollins.

Posted on: July 15, 2011 7:37 pm

Will Phils again trade for a pitcher?

NEW YORK -- The Phillies opened the second half with two starting position players on the disabled list, and one closer returning from the DL.

So what does that mean for the Phils' trade plans as the July 31 deadline approaches?

Good question, but here's one thing worth remembering: Every year, it seems that manager Charlie Manuel says the Phillies need another hitter. And every year, general manager Ruben Amaro trades for a pitcher.

So even with Ryan Madson returning from the DL, and even with the chance that Jose Contreras may be back, too, it would surprise no one if the Phillies go after someone like Padres closer Heath Bell.

The Phillies have made a midseason trade for a starting pitcher each of the last five years (Jamie Moyer, Kyle Lohse, Joe Blanton, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt), but with Oswalt on the way back from the DL to join Roy Halladay, Lee and Cole Hamels in the rotation, that seems significantly less likely this year.

But don't the pitching-strong Phillies need another bat?

They might, and more specifically they could use a right-handed bat. But Phillies people will remind you that they haven't had their full lineup together very often this year, and that while Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco begin the second half on the DL, neither is expected to be out very long.

Phillies people even suggest that with Madson already back and with Polanco, Victorino and Oswalt soon to follow, they may not need to make any moves. They remind you that money is tight.

History tells you they always make a move.

And history tells you that they usually choose pitchers over hitters.


Polanco, who went on the DL Friday with lower back inflammation, could return as soon as next Wednesday. The Phillies were able to backdate the DL posting by 10 days (to when Polanco last played), and he said Friday that he was able to avoid getting a shot in his back.

"I'm just going to rest it," Polanco said.

Manuel said that Madson won't immediately return to his role as closer. The plan is to use him in the seventh or eighth inning the first time or two. Pitching coach Rich Dubee told reporters that Madson won't be used on back-to-back days, for now.

The Phillies have had three closers hurt this year (Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras, in addition to Madson), but they've had just three blown saves. And only one of those was in the ninth inning (Madson, on June 9).

Posted on: July 11, 2011 9:10 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 9:21 pm

All-Stars on Jeter: 'He's Mr. Baseball'

PHOENIX -- To hear some people tell it, there are people upset with Derek Jeter for his decision to skip the All-Star Game.

Maybe so, but all I heard about Jeter on Monday was praise, respect and amazement at his 5-for-5, 3,000th-hit day Saturday.

"For him, that's fitting," Reds outfielder Jay Bruce said. "At this point, he's Mr. Baseball. I'm disappointed he's not here, but only in the fact that I'd like to be on the same field as him."

Bruce, like many All-Stars, was able to see the 3,000th hit on television. So was Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco, who was riding an exercise bike in the clubhouse.

"I was super happy for him," Polanco said. "Jeter is one of the best, if not the best, person in the game."

"It couldn't have happened to a better person," Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun agreed. "And it couldn't have happened in a better way."

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who wears No. 2 because of Jeter, agreed. Tulowitzki said his only regret is that he doesn't get to see Jeter this week.

"I feel like I got robbed twice, because he was on the disabled list when we went to New York," Tulowitzki said. "It would have been great if he was here, but at the same time he's got to do what he's got to do."

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, a longtime Jeter admirer, said he saw the 3,000th hit.

"Who didn't watch it?" Gibson asked. "A special day. It was meant to be. The great thing is that the perception of Derek Jeter is the truth. There is nothing phony about Derek at all."

The truth is that Jeter's not here. And the truth is that he's still held in great, great respect by his fellow All-Stars.

For more All-Star coverage from CBSSports.com, click here.

Posted on: July 11, 2011 8:50 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 9:10 pm

Polanco asks, 'Where's Albert?'

PHOENIX -- Albert Pujols has 18 home runs and 50 RBI. Albert Pujols is widely acknowledged as the best hitter in baseball.

Albert Pujols isn't at the All-Star Game.

Huh? Seriously?

Pujols is having, by his standards, a subpar season. He was on the disabled list when the teams were picked. Then, when it came to naming All-Star replacements, National League manager Bruce Bochy decided he'd rather have a third catcher (Miguel Montero) than a great hitter.

So he's not here, even though people who know Pujols say he wanted to be picked.

"I'm not happy because I thought he deserved it," said Pujols friend Placido Polanco. "I wanted to be on the same team as him."

Pujols shocked almost everyone by coming back to the Cardinals less than three weeks after breaking a bone in his hand. He didn't shock Polanco.

"I saw him the day after he got hurt, and when he shook my hand, he was so strong," Polanco said. "I said, 'Are you sure it's fractured?'"

Polanco is in Phoenix, but he won't play in the All-Star Game because of a bulging disk in his lower back.

"I'm trying to avoid getting a shot on the spine," Polanco said. "I really don't want to get a shot."

For more All-Star coverage from CBSSports.com, click here.

Posted on: May 3, 2011 3:40 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 3:48 pm

Phils move Rollins back to leadoff spot

The Phillies tried to make Jimmy Rollins into a third-place hitter.

It didn't work, and now he's the leadoff man again.

After the Phillies scored just three runs in their Saturday and Sunday games against the Mets, manager Charlie Manuel changed the top of his lineup for the first time this year, putting Rollins atop the order and shifting Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco down a spot, to second and third.

Polanco isn't a traditional third-place hitter -- he has just 48 home runs in the last six-plus seasons -- but he has always hit well in the clutch. Polanco is hitting .448 with runners in scoring position this year, which is why he has 19 RBI, which is 14 more than Rollins has out of the third spot.

With regular third-place hitter Chase Utley beginning the season on the disabled list, Manuel tried various combinations in spring training, including the one with Rollins leading off and Polanco hitting third. Not that he asked me, but the Rollins-Victorino-Polanco lineup is the one I liked best.

We still don't know if Rollins can be the dynamic leadoff man he once was. Rollins won the National League MVP award in 2007, and helped lead the Phllies to the World Series in 2008 and 2009. As I wrote in the Phillies camp report this spring, the Phillies are at their best when Jimmy is rolling atop the lineup.
Posted on: March 9, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 3:00 pm

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The problem for the Phillies isn't finding someone who can take over for Chase Utley at second base.

No, the problem is finding someone who can do what Utley does at the plate. The problem is finding someone who can drive in 100 runs and score 100 runs.

Good luck.

The Phillies still don't know how long they'll be without Utley, who hasn't played this spring because of what they've described as patellar tendinitis in his right knee. But the club announced Wednesday morning that "additional opinions" will be sought, and it's clearer than ever that Utley could miss significant time.

That likely means Wilson Valdez plays second base, at least in the short term. The Phillies could still add another utility infield type, and perhaps they could even make a bigger trade, although right now a deal for someone like Michael Young seems highly unlikely.

Valdez filled in well at shortstop last year when Jimmy Rollins was hurt, and he also started 35 games at third base in place of Utley last year. But if Valdez can capably fill the vacancy at second base, there's no way he can take Utley's place in the Phillies' offense.

Without Utley, as Manuel pointed out, the Phillies are missing their third- and fifth-place hitters from last year. Jayson Werth, of course, left last winter as a free agent.

Manuel hit Placido Polanco in the third spot in Wednesday's spring game against the Tigers. He said he has told Polanco that he'll also hit fifth at times.

Polanco is a quality hitter, one of the best No. 2 hitters in the game. But he has never driven in 100 runs in a season in his career, and only once scored 100 runs in a season.

Manuel listed Raul Ibanez and Jimmy Rollins as two other candidates to hit third. But Rollins is the Phillies' leadoff hitter, and Manuel isn't sure he wants to take Rollins out of that role.

As Manuel said, "It'd be better and easier if [Utley] is in there."

And that may be why Manuel is holding out hope that Utley will recover quickly.

"We've still got time," he said Wednesday.

They still have time. Right now, though, they still don't have Chase Utley.

Posted on: October 6, 2010 1:54 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2010 4:11 pm

Phils open playoffs without Polanco

PHILADELPHIA -- Placido Polanco is out of the Phillies lineup for today's playoff opener with the Reds.

Manager Charlie Manuel said Polanco has a back problem, and that Wilson Valdez will start at third base instead. Manuel described the problem as stiffness in the middle back, and said Polanco came to him and told him he wasn't able to play.

General manager Ruben Amaro said the Phillies are hopeful that Polanco will be ready to play in time for Game 2 on Friday night.

"He may be ready by the end of the day today," Amaro said. "He's in [the clubhouse] getting treatment."

The Phillies have dealt with injuries all year. All four of their infielders spent time on the disabled list, and Valdez played 59 games at shortstop in place of Jimmy Rollins. Valdez also played seven games at third base this year, but he has played only 17 games at third in his major-league career (and only four games in his 11-year minor-league career).

The Phillies signed Polanco as a free agent last winter, and he had a very good season. In addition to being one of the best second-spot hitters in baseball, he played better than anticipated defensively at third base.

Posted on: October 3, 2010 12:14 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2010 12:18 pm

Phils have best MLB record for first time

ATLANTA -- That the Phillies will finish with the best record in baseball for the first time ever tells you a few things.

Yes, it's a reminder that the Phillies haven't been good very often since they began play back in 1883. There are only a few times in team history they even came close to having baseball's best record, notably in 1976-77, when they won 101 games back-to-back years (but finished a game worse than the Reds in 1976, and a game worse than the Royals in 1977).

Yes, the Phillies were helped by the balance in the American League and the mediocrity in the National League. The Phillies (97-64 heading into today's final game against the Braves) clinched the best record late Saturday night, when the Yankees (95-66) lost the second game of their doubleheader in Boston. The Yankees and Rays have both won 95 games, despite playing in the American League East and playing each other 18 times.

But that the Phillies would have baseball's best record this year is still hugely impressive, given the injuries and challenges they overcame to get it. And it's a reminder that this group has a chance, in the next month and in the years to come, to establish itself as a team that will be talked about for decades.

"It tells you a lot about this team and the players we have," third baseman Placido Polanco said. "Everyone is just focused on winning."

It also tells you that this Phillies team has continued to play hard since clinching its fourth straight NL East title last Monday night. The Phils lost to the Nationals the night after they clinched (while resting most of their regulars), then won the final game in Washington and the first two in Atlanta this weekend.
Category: MLB
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