Phillies Notes: Polanco hopes to return Saturday
Placido Polanco's target date for his return from the disabled list keeps moving up. Now, the Phillies' third baseman is hoping to be back in time for Saturday's game at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs.
Placido Polanco's target date for his return from the disabled list keeps moving up.
Now, the Phillies' third baseman is hoping to be back in time for Saturday's game at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs.
Polanco, on the disabled list since June 26 with triceps tendinitis, is confident he can return to the Phillies' lineup much sooner than originally anticipated after taking practice Saturday and Sunday. Earlier in the week, he said he was not going to start hitting until he went to Clearwater on a rehab assignment.
"My elbow feels good right now," he said. "It feels better than it did the last two or three weeks when I was playing."
The Phillies announced during the team's 1-0 win over the Reds that Polanco will report to Clearwater on Tuesday and begin his rehab assignment later in the week. Polanco said he plans to work out Tuesday and Wednesday, then play in games Thursday and Friday.
He said he wants to play for single-A Clearwater on Thursday and for the Phillies' rookie-league team Friday afternoon so he can join the team in time for Saturday's day game in Chicago.
Polanco also revealed for the first time that one of the three doctors he visited about his persistent elbow pain suggested he have surgery to remove a bone spur.
The 34-year-old Polanco, who has had three cortisone injections since suffering the injury when he was hit by a pitch in Atlanta in late April, said Cincinnati team physician Timonthy Kremchek suggested that he have surgery "right away" and that he would not have any more problems once the bone spur was removed from his left elbow.
That part might have sounded good to Polanco. The part he did not like was that he'd have to miss two months of the season if he had the surgery.
Surgeon Steve Cohen of Jefferson University Hospital and New York Mets team physician David Altchek agreed that Polanco could return much sooner without surgery.
Cohen offered the initial opinion, and Altchek weighed in with the third opinion in New York the same day second baseman Chase Utley was told by the Mets' physician that he needed surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.
Polanco said he could undergo surgery after the season. "If it's bothering me, without a doubt, because I don't want to think about it," he said.
Durbin getting close
If all continues to go well for righthander Chad Durbin, the Phillies could soon have the full complement of relievers they had envisioned in spring training.
Closer Brad Lidge and lefthanded setup man J.C. Romero were on the disabled list at the start of the season. The Phillies have not had their bullpen intact at any point this year.
Durbin, on the disabled list since June 24 with a strained right hamstring, pitched a perfect inning and struck out two in a rehab assignment for Clearwater on Saturday. He is scheduled to pitch again Monday for Clearwater.
Whenever Durbin is ready to come off the disabled list, the Phillies have a difficult roster decision: Do they designate righthander Nelson Figueroa for assignment for the second time this season or do they offer Rule 5 draft pick David Herndon back to the Los Angeles Angels?
Some might argue that the Phillies should release veteran reliever Danys Baez, who has struggled, but he signed a two-year contract worth $5.25 million before the start of the season, so that's not happening.
Herndon, a rookie, is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA, and in his last eight appearances, he has a 2.35 ERA.
Figueroa is 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA. Since rejoining the team from triple-A Lehigh Valley, he has allowed one hit and no runs spanning four appearances and 71/3 innings.
If you include the three starts he made for the IronPigs, he has allowed just 11 hits and two runs and struck out 25 batters in his last 261/3 innings. He has a 0.68 ERA during that stretch.
The Phillies listed Jamie Moyer as the starter for Thursday's series opener against the Cubs, followed by Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels, and staff ace Roy Halladay. Manager Charlie Manuel said that is subject to change if Halladay does not pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game. . . . The Phillies had not swept a four-game series against Cincinnati since May 13-15, 1975, at Veterans Stadium. Tom Underwood and Steve Carlton pitched shutouts in the first two games of that series.