Chooch is back! Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Final Roster Moves For Imaginary Playoff Run Set: Ruiz Activated, Polanco Shelved


If Placido Polanco were a horse, he’d have been put to sleep by now. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

In what should be one of their final moves before a playoff run that is only going to happen inside their own minds, the Phillies on Friday activated Carlos Ruiz from the disabled list and shelved oft-injured third baseman Placido Polanco for the rest of the season.

Polanco has dealt with back problems all year, playing in just 90 games with a .257/.302/.327 slash line, adding just 17 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs in 328 plate appearances. And with the injuries piling up higher than files inside a Veterans Affairs office, it’s become increasingly obvious the Phillies will not pick up Polanco’s $5.5 million option for 2013.

It is still possible the Phils will re-sign him in the offseason for what I would assume would be much, much, much, much less. However, it’s looking more and more like the Phils will cut the cord with their 67-year-old third sacker after this season. Still, Polanco says he would like to be back.

“I’m going to begin a rehab to give myself a chance to try to come back next year,” he said. “If I rehab and it still hurts, I don’t know. But who wouldn’t love to play for the Phillies? This is one of the best organizations ever.”

Well, he’s right about one thing. The Phillies are, like, the bestest organization in the history of world sports. Or maybe, any organization of any kind. Although, General Electric is pretty good too. But really, it’s apples and oranges. Let’s just call it a tie.

Of course the big question now is, what do the Phillies do at third base when the playoffs don’t start in October? Who are they going to rely on to come through in the non-existent playoff at bats that are heading their way? Is there anyone with the mental acumen to execute properly both at the plate and in the field when the imaginary playoffs begin?

The mind melts just thinking about it.

Taking Polanco’s spot on the roster is Erik Kratz’ back-up for 2013, journeyman veteran Carlos Ruiz. This Ruiz kid seems like a nice player, a real go-getter who had a moderately decent season going at the plate before he got hurt, hitting .335/.399/.559 with 28 doubles, 14 HRs and 58 RBIs in just 95 games.

I mean, those are nice numbers and all, but how is anyone going to force the Phils’ new uberstar Kratz out from behind the plate?

All joking aside, the Phils say they will only use Chooch sparingly during the last month of the season. He’s been out since August 3 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Now, I don’t have any idea what that is, but it sounds like a pretty bad footsy ouchie. The Phillies say they plan to use him as a pinch hitter this weekend, and then will give him one or two starts a week the rest of September.

You know, just so he stays sharp for the playoffs that won’t be happening.

“I think he still has a chance to help us,” Phillies Assistant General Manager Scott Proefrock said before Friday night’s game against Colorado. “As long of a shot as it is, we’re not out of this. He can contribute. He’s an important part of our offense.”

Oh, so I guess Kratz means nothing to you now! I guess all the magic that Kratz has brought us, his innate Kratziness, his joie de vivre, is but a scentless vapor in the wind to be dismissed?

For shame, Scott Proefrock. For shame!

And of course, now we have a catcher controversy. With Kratz destroying baseballs at a rate not seen since Carlos Ruiz, who will the Phillies be starting behind the dish in these non-existent playoff games that are just a month away? Do you go with the established veteran All-Star catcher having the season of a lifetime, or the journeyman career minor leaguer riding the hottest streak of his career?

Even though these so-called “playoff games” aren’t actually going to be happening, these are real questions that need to be answered!

If nothing else, it’s just good to see Ruiz back on the field. He deserves a chance to finish his season on a high note and on his terms, Kratz be damned.

As for Polanco, hopefully he can figure out his back problems and give it another go somewhere else in 2013.

Because it’s either that or signing up for the highly-competitive Boggle tournaments at the local assisted living community on Saturday nights. And that can be a little stressful.

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Tags: Carlos Ruiz Philadelphia Phillies Placido Polanco