Placido Polanco by the numbers:
I had a lot of positive things to write for Placido Polanco's exit interview, before I stopped and realized I was only looking at his numbers from April of last year. The guy who ended April of last season with an average of .398 and an OPS of .972 was never the same player after that. Polanco's overall production has dipped consistently after his 2007 season where he took home a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, and played his first of two All-Star Games. But it was this season, in his age 36 season, where his numbers fell off a cliff. Polanco played in only 90 games, his lowest total since his 2002 season with the Phillies.
Polly managed 78 hits in 328 at-bats, and in typical Polanco fashion they were mostly singles (17 extra base hits). Polanco's defense is what kept him afloat in terms of having a positive WAR (0.3). The problem was that Polanco was never healthy. When it wasn't a back injury that plagued him for almost the entire second half of the season, it was something else. Eventually, when Polanco was healthy enough to play, he more or less lost his starting job to Kevin Frandsen.
The season wasn't without some memorable moments for Polly. Polanco tallied his 2,000th hit in grand style, hitting a two-run shot off David Carpenter in the eighth inning of a May 14th game against Houston.
It's hard to imagine where Placido Polanco will end up next season. He has very little value as a starter at this stage of his career, with his his age, injury concerns and slower bat (remember "All Polanco does is hit"?). The Phillies have Kevin Frandsen re-upped on a one-year deal, and Freddy Galvis should be healthy so that leaves no room for Polanco to come back, his 2012 option already declined. There's also retirement. At 37 with nagging injuries, Polly might just call it quits. If this is all for Polanco, he tallied a 5.1 WAR over 3 injury-plagued seasons. The lasting highlights of his second Phillies go-around to me are his 2011 Gold Glove and notching his 2,000th hit.
Ruben's interview with Polanco was rather hard for him to conduct without some hitches.
Ruben waited in his office for Placido Polanco. Before too long, there was a knock at the door.
RUBEN: Yes.......yes...ok I'll remind him. Come in Polly.
Placido Polanco enters rolling in, literally, in a wheel chair. Polanco is supported by a back brace.
RUBEN: Polly, my god what happened?
POLANCO: I bent over picking up the newspaper
RUBEN: ...Ok sit- pull in a little closer. So Polly, how did you let your teammates down this season?
Polanco is now wearing a head brace and his bruises all over his face and large cranium.
POLANCO: Well I don't think I played to the best of my abilities when I was on the field. My hitting isn't as good as it used to be. And for the most part, I was healthy.
RUBEN: Waaasn't healthy..... How did your manager and GM let you down this season?
Polanco now has two leg casts up to his knees
POLANCO: Probably by not getting enough help. Knowing I was 36 years old, my backups were Kevin Frandsen, Hector Luna, and Ty Wigginton. Wiggy is slower than me! He had such an iron glove I couldn't believe he could pick it up!
RUBEN: There was also Mike Fontenot.
RUBEN: .............Oh I don't know. I was just reading off this list of players who played third base for us this year. Anyway, what do you have to say to all of the fans you let down this season?
Both of Polanco's arms are now in slings
POLANCO: I'm sorry I wasn't healthier. I'm sorry I didn't hit better. I remember all those shirts that said all I do is hit. I'm sorry for that. I sorry I switched my music from I Know You Want Me. I know people liked that.
Ruben looks bewildered at this point.
RUBEN: ...Ok. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst, how do you rate on the "it's my fault we're in this freaking mess and missed the playoffs" scale?
Polanco is now in a full-body cast
POLANCO: Well third base is an important position. I guess pretty high. But I think Ryan, Chase and Roy missing extended time hurt more than me. Besides, I always miss a lot of time. But hey, 2,000 hits!
Ruben at this point looks like he's ready to weep openly.
RUBEN: F-finally... Other than yourself, which player caused this fiasco of a season the most?
Polanco is now in an iron lung
POLANCO: Everybody who spent time on the DL for an extended period of time. Ryan, Chase, Roy.....Freddy Galvis.....Cliff Lee.... I can go on. They're the worst.
RUBEN: .......Get out.