Polanco says he's done for year; Tigers hope not

Updated: September 17, 2006, 6:12 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Just when the Detroit Tigers were hoping to have Placido Polanco back in the lineup, the second baseman said his season is over.

Second Base
Detroit Tigers

103 3 44 54 .325 .294

"I'm out for the year," Polanco said after the Tigers lost to Baltimore 12-8 on Sunday.

Polanco was put on the disabled list on Aug. 16 with a separated left shoulder after making a tumbling catch at Boston.

He was expected to be out four to six weeks and was hurt five weeks ago on Tuesday.

Polanco recently started to hit and was sore after batting practice Saturday, Leyland said, and did not hit before Sunday's game.

If Polanco is out for the season -- and not just reacting emotionally to a possible setback -- it would be a blow to the slumping Tigers.

Since leading the AL Central by 10 games after play on Aug. 7, Detroit has lost 24 of 37 games and seen its lead over Minnesota shrink to only a game.

Tigers trainer Kevin Rand said Polanco still has day-to-day status, according to team spokesman Rick Thompson.

Manager Jim Leyland has called Polanco "a manager's dream."

He is one of Detroit's best players in the field and at the plate, where he ranks among AL leaders with a .374 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Polanco, a contact hitter on a free-swinging team, is hitting .294 with 44 RBI and 17 doubles in 103 games.

"If [Polanco] can't play, he's hurt," Tigers closer Todd Jones said. "He must be worse off than we all thought. We thought he would be ready for Chicago."

The Tigers open a three-game series Monday on the road against the third-place White Sox.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press