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Phillies bench Placido Polanco for Kevin Frandsen

Aug 28, 2012, 4:46 PM EDT

Placido Polanco Getty Images

In case it wasn’t already clear, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel basically admitted today that Placido Polanco has simply been benched.

Polanco is out of the lineup tonight for the fifth straight game in favor of 30-year-old journeyman Kevin Frandsen, and when asked about the situation Manuel told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that it’s not about Polanco’s health or anything except for Frandsen playing well.

And that’s true, as he’s hit .351 in 26 games for the Phillies after coming into the season as a career .243 hitter with a .636 OPS. Frandsen will come crashing back down to earth eventually, but the larger point is that he might actually have a place on the Phillies in 2013 whereas they’re all but certain to let Polanco go by declining a $5.5 million option.

Philadelphia was widely criticized for signing Polanco to a three-year, $18 million deal in December of 2009 and for that money he’s hit just .281 with a .686 OPS while missing 112 of a possible 452 games.

  1. greymares - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    I won’t kick Polanco while he’s down, he owes no apologies, he did a very good job for the Phillies during both tours of duty Thanks Polly.

  2. annaalamode - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Gee, who would have thought that signing a player of his age to a long term deal could go so wrong?

    • bleedgreen - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      3 years is considered long term now?

      • annaalamode - Aug 29, 2012 at 3:42 AM

        It is, in my opinion, for an athlete over the age of 30.

  3. rjmarrella - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Later Polly

  4. thefacts121 - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    According to Fangraphs, Polanco was worth 4 wins above replacement in 2010 and 3 wins above replacement in 2011. That had a value of a little less than 30 million dollars (his performance this year pushes him over that threshold). So while the Phillies were roundly critiqued for signing him to that deal, those critiques turned out to be, in short, wrong. I wasn’t sure about the signing at the time either, but it’s bizarre to present it as a bust now when it has already worked out.

    By the way, it also doesn’t make very much sense to say that he hit “just .281,” while the league average batting average is in the low .250s, nor to cite to BA and ignore OBP (also above league average).

  5. chaser44 - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    pretty sure this decision came down from the top, Charlie put him in the lineup the night after Frandsen had game tying hits and rbi’s, the same way he played Schneider over Kratz, Charlie needs to head up to the front office and get back to consulting or scouting and let them bring Sandberg up from the minors. I hear nothing but praise about him from prospects to journeyman to even established players like Utley on a rehab assignment, he is the future to getting us back on track.

  6. deathmonkey41 - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    There’s going to be a lot less headspace on that bench now…

  7. xmatt0926x - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    One thing that isn’t being mentioned is that a big part of his not doing more during his first couple seasons of this contract is due to him being hit in the elbow with a Tim Hudson pitch. He was doing very well up to that point but then had chips in his elbow that clearly affected him into the next season. That might not justify his contract overall but it’s not just as if it was his age only that led to his sometimes poor play.

    • bleedgreen - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      Agree fully. He was hitting over 300 until he started with the constant elbow problems, and also last year he had a hernia that he refused to acknowledge for a few weeks, saw his hitting drop off a cliff, and then he was out, back and and out again.

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