The Philadelphia Phillies have placed veteran third baseman Placido Polanco on the disabled list with a back injury and will recall his replacement before the start of Friday’s series with the Atlanta Braves.
Polanco has been struggling offensively this season, as he is at just .255 with two home runs and 19 RBIs, making for a less-than-acceptable .628 OPS. Polanco is as solid as ever with the glove, as he leads the National League in fielding percentage at third base, even though he is well into his mid-thirties.
He is in the final season of a three-year, $18 million contract he signed prior to the 2010 season, and that includes a mutual option for the 2013 season at $5.5 million. The Phillies very likely won’t renew Polanco’s option for next season, as the team has already been trying to trade him, with the Baltimore Orioles looked at as a possible suitor.
The fact that Polanco is now on the disabled list means the Phillies will have to go with Ty Wigginton at third base. Wigginton is a much better offensive player than Polanco, as he actually has some power, but he is very subpar defensively. Neither is the long-term answer for the Phillies, and the 2013 starting third baseman will likely be either a free agent signee from around the league, as there is no one really in the minor league system that could be expected to contribute at the hot corner for next season.
The Phillies will likely recall infielder Kevin Frandsen from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Polanco’s place.