Man I’m getting tired of adding to the injury lists. Gary Sheffield and Placido Polanco were both out of today’s lineup. Polanco was actually out of Canada and back in Detroit to get his back examined. It sounds like Sheffield is close behind him to get his shoulder looked at.
Gary Sheffield hadn’t been hitting early on, but he’d still been getting his walks and has 12 for the season. But on Friday night he looked too much like the Sheffield from last August. He fanned 3 times and was chasing pitches out of the strike zone. His line drive percentage is only at 11% (he’s normally in the 16-18% range) and he’s hitting infield flies at an alarming rate of 36.8%. Unfortunately a DL stint looks inevitable at this point.
As for Polanco this isn’t his first bout with back problems. He was also slowed by it in 2006 when his batting average and power slipped. The cold weather has reportedly exacerbated the problem, but even with the temperature warming up Polanco finds himself looking for answers.
As for some good news Curtis Granderson is making progress on his rehab and is trying to get his legs back under him. Jason Beck has been tracking it and Grandy is headed to West Michigan for a game Monday and then back to Toledo for a game Tuesday. Right now it looks like Wednesday would be the earliest he’d return.
Now the question is what happens if Sheffield or Polanco hit the DL. In the case of either it may be an exchange with Granderson.
Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Guillen, and Magglio Ordonez could take turns at DH if Sheffield goes out. Guillen would be the most likely candidate while his hamstring heals. A different tact could be to bring in a slugger for the DH spot and not disrupt anything else. Barry Bonds rumors have continued to swirl and this would only fuel it. Also, a recently released Frank Thomas could be a very cheap option (if you’re into the league minimum). Another cheaper and youger option could be Jeff Larish. The left hander wil strike out, but he has a decent eye and big power.
In the case of Polanco going out he would likely be backfilled with a combination of Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago.