Polanco's ailing back keeps him on the bench

Polanco's ailing back keeps him on the bench

PHILADELPHIA -- The back problems that recently caused Placido Polanco to spend four weeks on the disabled list are still giving the veteran third baseman some trouble.

Polanco, not in the lineup for the fourth consecutive game, was not available to play on Saturday, Charlie Manuel said. Asked if there was any thought of putting Polanco back on the DL, the manager said, "We'll wait and see."

Polanco did take batting practice and fielded ground balls before Saturday's game against Washington.

"I talked to Polly [Friday] with [Phillies head athletic trainer Scott] Sheridan," Manuel said. "I tell him every time I talk to him, 'If you're hurting and playing definitely hurts you, it's also hurting your performance and it's not good for our team. It's not good for you, it's not good for our team.' That's kind of how I see it. In order for Polly to help us, then he has to get well. He has to be 100 percent. Unfortunately, he's missed a lot of time the last two years.

"He agrees. He says he doesn't want to go on the DL, but at the same time, we also need a player on the bench. If I send one guy to pinch-hit early, all of a sudden we're short on the bench. We need all 25 of our players. ... If it hurts him and it hurts his performance and it hurts him to play, then it's not good for him or us."