Polanco suspended 80 games for PEDs
Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco received an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball on Sunday for a performance-enhancing substance.
Polanco tested positive for Stanozolol, per MLB, which is a violation of the league's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. His suspension will begin at the start of the regular season.
"We were disappointed to learn of the suspension of Jorge Polanco for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the Twins said in a statement. "We fully support Major League Baseball's policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game. Per the protocol outlined in the Joint Drug Program, the Minnesota Twins will not comment further on this matter."
Now with immediate uncertainty at shortstop, Eduardo Escobar figures to be the everyday starter. But Ehire Adrianza will likely also see action. And now in need of an extra roster spot, non-roster invitee Erick Aybar will likely break camp with the big league club.
• Teammates stand behind Polanco
"Today, I have regretfully accepted my 80-game suspension for testing positive for Stanozolol," Polanco said in a statement. "To be clear, I did not intentionally consume this steroid. I now know, however, that my intention alone is not a good enough excuse, and I will pay the price for my error in judgment. The substance that I requested from my athletic trainer in the Dominican Republic and consented to take was a combination of vitamin B12 and an iron supplement, something that is not unusual or illegal for professional athletes to take. Unfortunately, what I was given was not that supplement, and I take full responsibility for what is in my body."
Polanco, 24, got his first true crack at the Majors last year when he played in 133 games and slashed .256/.313/.410 with 13 homers and 74 RBIs. After a rocky start, Polanco got on a tear down the stretch, batting .373 with six homers and a 1.099 OPS in August, which prompted manager Paul Molitor to utilize Polanco in the three-hole as Miguel Sano recovered from a shin injury.
But with a retooled lineup that added Logan Morrison via free agency, Polanco was likely set to bat in the lower third of the lineup for most of 2018.