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Polanco Sports Hernia Potentially Problematic

Posted By Christopher Rowe On Aug 17 2011 @ 2:18 pm In Philadelphia,Philadelphia Phillies | 2 Comments

Placido Polanco will try to finish the season playing with a sports hernia injury – or to be accurate, not playing and then attempting to play. Much like when the team chose to allow Chase Utley to rest for two months the outcome could potentially be problematic or positively productive. Only time will tell.

Following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Arizona, retroactive to Aug. 7 Polanco was placed on the 15-day disabled list. The Phillies want to give Polanco a few more days to rest the injury, which means he could be activated as early as Monday against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. This pattern will evolve over the remaining six weeks of the regular season in an effort to determine to what extent Polanco may or may not be able to contribute in the postseason.

The Phillies called up right-hander Michael Schwimer from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Polanco’s spot on the 25-man roster for the time being.

Polanco said he has ruled out surgery, which the Phillies said was an option last week. Polanco said on a 1-10 scale the pain is a six. He said he could play like that the remainder of the season, including the postseason but his pain tolerance is not at issue. His effectiveness would be the deciding factor.

If I have surgery, I’m out for the year,” he said. Polanco also said that the injury doesn’t affect him 100% of the time. Generally in the field it affects him sporadically but not as much as it would running bases and more than it does at the plate – especially playing consecutive days. Until the effect of simple old fashioned rest is determined it is impossible to forecast what Polanco’s role might be for the postseason Phillies.

Relegating him to playing every other day or spot DH duties (in the World Series) might cause the Phillies to make very different roster decisions. Would Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez be enough to compensate for the absence of Polanco or would they consider adding infielder Pete Orr to the postseason roster?  Orr hit .238 over 29 games earlier this season while subbing for Chase Utley. Valdez has hit .236 in 75 games while Martinez has managed .212 over 65 games. Orr has been playing 3B at Lehigh Valley to afford himself more to playing either 2B or 3B. Martinez offers versatility of switch hitting while being able to defensively cover all 3 outfield positions in addition to 2B, 3B and SS. Valdez plays the same infield positions (in addition to one inning as a pitcher). Orr hit .300 in 150 AB back in 2005 with the Atlanta Braves and has postseason experience.

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