Placido Polanco will always be one of my favorite Phillies players. Granted, most of it was for his 2002-2005 tenure. A professional hitter who made contact, in his prime he was considered one of the top two-hole hitters in the game. Polanco has gold gloves at second base and third base but for his bat a Silver Slugger award in 2007, honoring the top bat at second base in the American League in 2007. Upon his return to the Phillies Polanco put together an admirable 2010 campaign but battled injury in 2011 and 2012, showing he was a shell of his old self.
So what do you do with a top two-hole hitter beyond his prime and rittled with injury? The Miami Marlins are considering making him a cleanup hitter. No disrespect to the veteran Polanco, but... seriously? Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun Sentinel quotes Marlins rookie manager Mike Redmond, who believes he may be the best cleanup option on the Marlins team:
I like Polanco hitting there. He gives you a veteran bat, a guy who puts the ball in play. He can hit behind runners. He can hit and run. He handles the bat well and might be a nice fit behind Stanton.
Might be? That's code for "I don't have anyone else!" Rodriguez does believe that Polanco could fit behind Stanton in one circumstance:
Absolutely – if Stanton was a leadoff man. Polanco was born to hit second.
Honestly, given what Redmond has to work with I think Greg Dobbs would even be a better option, not that either offers much "protection". The reality of Polanco's recent health might indicate that Dobbs could end up playing third base plenty anyway. The only other established major league hitters on the Marlins roster are outfielder Juan Pierre and first baseman Casey Kotchman.
The Marlins managed to take a fanbase that was at least somewhat excited last year and instantly kill their buzz. And with revenue sharing and the Miami government paying for most of the stadium, they aren't going anywhere. Sad.