Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Polanco ready to rejoin Twins from suspension

Molitor says shortstop to receive playing time right away
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

CHICAGO -- The Twins are preparing for shortstop Jorge Polanco to be reinstated from his 80-game suspension for the use of performance-enhancing drugs on Monday in the series opener against the Brewers. They'll have to make a corresponding roster move prior to the game.

Polanco has been playing well at Triple-A Rochester, going 6-for-13 with a triple and two walks in four games. He also played in two games with Class A Advanced Fort Myers, going 2-for-6 with a homer. Twins manager Paul Molitor said he expects Polanco to get immediate playing time and has been tinkering with potential lineups including Polanco, who hit .256/.313/.410 with 13 homers, 30 doubles and 13 stolen bases in 133 games last year.

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- The Twins are preparing for shortstop Jorge Polanco to be reinstated from his 80-game suspension for the use of performance-enhancing drugs on Monday in the series opener against the Brewers. They'll have to make a corresponding roster move prior to the game.

Polanco has been playing well at Triple-A Rochester, going 6-for-13 with a triple and two walks in four games. He also played in two games with Class A Advanced Fort Myers, going 2-for-6 with a homer. Twins manager Paul Molitor said he expects Polanco to get immediate playing time and has been tinkering with potential lineups including Polanco, who hit .256/.313/.410 with 13 homers, 30 doubles and 13 stolen bases in 133 games last year.

View Full Game Coverage

"I've thought about that some," Molitor said. "We've got options. We know what he did last year when he had a chance to move up into a pretty important role. I don't know we'll jump him up there that fast. For us to see him is going to be different than hearing about him and reading about him and texing him and all those kinds of things. We'll see how it is. To be honest, coming up here and playing, even though he's doing really well, it's going to be a little different than what he's been doing."

Polanco had a breakout second half in 2017, hitting .293/.359/.511 with 10 homers, 15 doubles and 43 RBIs in 63 games. He moved up to the No. 3 spot in the lineup down the stretch, but as Molitor noted, Polanco is unlikely to be that high in the order early on. Molitor, though, is excited to get Polanco's offense back in the lineup.

"I think we all miss that aspect of his game," Polanco said. "Not to mention the production from that type of approach. He's another one of those guys who helps everyone in the lineup by how he takes good at-bats over the course of a season."

Due to the nature of his suspension before he started his rehab assignment, Polanco spent the first two months working out at the club's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla. It allowed him to specifically hone in on his defense, working closely with Minor League infield coordinator and former big league manager Sam Perlozzo. Polanco had to take some time off in mid-June after he suffered a cut on his right index finger, but he's healthy and ready to go.

"We all know how he improved last year," Molitor said. "He spent a lot of time on his defense prior to the finger injury. He had day after day after day to do things. People have raved about how he set an example for the other players. First guy out, last guy to leave. A lot of it had to do with him working to shore up any minor shortfalls in his games. I think defensively, he'll be fine."

Worth noting
• Right-hander Ervin Santana made his first rehab start with Fort Myers on Saturday, allowing one run on two hits over three innings with two strikeouts. Molitor said the reports were good, although Santana's fastball topped out at 90 mph.

"Velocity, I know everyone is interested in that," Molitor said. "I think 90 was the high mark. But it was somewhat effective. We thought it was a good step. We're going to have to talk today about whether we want him to make his next one in Fort Myers or somewhere else. My gut is it's probably going to be Fort Myers again."

• Molitor said Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler and Bobby Wilson were all doing better Sunday after leaving Saturday's game with heat-related illness. They all received IVs after the game, as did shortstop Ehire Adrianza.

• Left-hander Adalberto Mejia, who made his season debut on Saturday, is on track to remain in the rotation and make his next start against the Orioles on Thursday.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Jorge Polanco