The Phillies announced today that Placido Polanco will not be in the starting lineup tonight in the postseason opener. They also say that it’s not related to the sore elbow he’s dealt with for most of the season.
Polanco has battled a sore elbow all season, but a Phillies spokesman said today that the veteran third baseman is not in the lineup because of back soreness. Manager Charlie Manuel said Polanco told him yesterday that he had a stiff back and that it got worse overnight. Polanco told him today that he could not bend over or move side to side, Manuel said.
Wilson Valdez takes over at 3rd base and will hit 8th. This leaves the Phillies very thin at the infield positions right now. Valdez is their only real legitimate option to backup 2B, SS, and 3B. Mike Sweeney & Greg Dobbs could play there if needed, but would likely be a liability in the field.