Phillies Notes: The Phillies' Placido Polanco sidelined by sore hip

Placido Polanco is headed home for a battery of tests on his sore left hip by team physician Michael Ciccotti. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)
Placido Polanco is headed home for a battery of tests on his sore left hip by team physician Michael Ciccotti. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)
Posted: August 08, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO - Placido Polanco moved gingerly around the visitors clubhouse at AT&T Park after Saturday's game. A day later, he left before the rest of his teammates and boarded a flight bound for Philadelphia three days early.

He is headed home for a battery of tests on his sore left hip Monday by team physician Michael Ciccotti. This latest development is not encouraging, especially since it's the latest in a litany of body parts to fail the 35-year-old Phillies third baseman this season.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would not say whether Polanco is headed to the disabled list, but there is concern. Polanco said Saturday the hip had been bothering him for at least a month. He had not informed the team's training staff of the pain and has not been treated at all for the injury.

"We weren't really aware of him having problems with it until just now," Amaro said. "He's never told us he's been hurting for a month on his hip."

Charlie Manuel mentioned that Polanco also had problems in his groin area and that could be connected to the hip troubles. Amaro said an MRI done months ago on Polanco's bad back revealed scar tissue around the groin, but he was asymptomatic. There could be a larger issue at hand.

"That's what we have to find out," Amaro said.

Polanco already missed 19 games with a trip to the disabled list for a bulging disk in his back. Bone chips and spurs in his right elbow befell him last season and required surgery last winter. He is owed $6.25 million in 2012.

Michael Martinez started at third base Sunday and went 1 for 3 with a single.

Howard's series

After exploding against Pittsburgh and Colorado, Ryan Howard wilted while facing tougher competition in the Giants. During the four-game series, Howard was 1 for 12 with eight strikeouts. He struck out three times vs. Tim Lincecum, and in 32 career at-bats against the San Francisco ace, Howard has fanned 16 times.

Giants pitching has held Howard down all season. The slugging first baseman finished 3 for 24 (.125) with nine strikeouts and two extra-base hits against San Francisco in seven regular-season games.

Howard, of course, was the team's best hitter during last season's National League Championship Series against the Giants. He was 7 for 22 (.318) with four doubles.

Beltran hurt

Carlos Beltran left Sunday's game in the eighth inning with a sprained right wrist. X-rays were negative, and the Giants are hopeful their rightfielder will not miss any time.

Beltran doubled Sunday but is hitting only .244 (11 for 45) in 11 games since joining San Francisco. The Phillies also ran liberally on balls hit to right during the series.

Extra bases

Jose Contreras (elbow) threw 65 pitches at 60 feet in Clearwater, Fla., marking the second time he played catch since two platelet-rich plasma injections. There are no immediate plans for him to throw off a mound. . . . Giants manager Bruce Bochy criticized Tony Bruno, a nationally syndicated radio personality who also cohosts a show on WPEN-FM (97.5), for referring to pitcher Ramon Ramirez as an "illegal alien" and calling Bochy a "coward." "Forget the remarks about me," Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle. "That doesn't bother me. For a guy to make a racist comment like that and have the ear of so many people, that bothers me. I can defend myself as a coward. I don't know if you can defend yourself making a racist comment." . . . Righthanded batters are 0 for 11 against Brad Lidge this season. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning Sunday.

Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at or @magelb on Twitter.

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