Okay, I thought we were done with Placido Polanco posts, but I guess we'll have to get through the weekend before moving on. While writing about Polanco signing with the Phillies (Insider), Buster Olney said something that caused an eyebrow to raise:
The Phillies also believe that Polanco will help them do a better job of manufacturing runs at the top of their order. The team has, year after year, consistently ranked near the top of the major leagues in runs scored, but the front office has come to believe that the team is too reliant on home runs -- on big swings -- and has become prone to strikeouts and pop-ups in situations in which they might be well-served by a ground ball to the right side.
Say what now? Manufacturing runs? Helping a team prone to strikeouts and pop-ups, when a ground ball is needed? How exactly did that work for the Tigers this year?
That's not to say that Polanco won't be a good fit in the Phillies' batting order. He should be. And he was a great fit in the Tigers' lineup, providing something that no one else could. But Polanco didn't exactly help Detroit in the areas Olney mentioned. It's interesting to see how differently a team (and national writer) can view something.
One more Tigers note from Olney: According to what he hears from executives around baseball, Detroit isn't shopping Curtis Granderson around that aggressively. The inference seems to be that the Tigers either don't believe they'd get full value in any prospective trade, or that the backlash against trading such a popular player gave them second thoughts.