Relegated to bench, Polanco focused on health

Relegated to bench, Polanco focused on health

Relegated to bench, Polanco focused on health
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said earlier this week that while Placido Polanco can play, Kevin Frandsen will get the majority of playing time at third base the rest of the season.

In other words, Polanco, who has been an everyday player the majority of his 15-year career, is a bench guy.

Polanco said Thursday that Manuel called him into his office to tell him about his decision.

"If I can't play, I can't play," said Polanco, who has battled a back problem and other injuries this season. "He's the manager. Right now, my hands are tied. I can't really say much. I played the other day [Aug. 22] and I hurt it again. What am I going to say? Put me in? I told him if I was healthy, then this would be another conversation. But I'm not healthy."

The Phillies have a $5.5 million option or a $1 million buyout on Polanco's contract next season. The Phillies will take the buyout. That leaves Polanco's future in baseball uncertain. He said he does not know what is going to happen, but he would like to play if he is healthy.

That is a big if.

"I have a lot of energy, I love the game and this is what I've been doing my entire life," said Polanco, who estimates he has received about 10 cortisone injections over the course of his career. "But I have to be healthy. If I'm not healthy, they can offer me $100 million and I'm not going to go out there."