Twins SS Jorge Polanco Suspended 80 Games After Positive PED Test

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2018

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 06: Jorge Polanco #11 of the Minnesota Twins makes some contact at the plate during the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 06, 2018 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been suspended 80 games for violating the league's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The team released a statement on the suspension:

Polanco is coming off his first full season in the majors, though he had played sparingly in each of the previous three seasons. He finished 2017 with a .256 batting average, 13 home runs and 74 RBI.

He was off to a slow start in spring training with a .697 on-base plus slugging percentage in 13 games, featuring only two extra-base hits in 35 plate appearances. However, he still projected to be the team's starting shortstop on Opening Day.

The Twins have a pair of utility players capable of filling the role between Eduardo Escobarand Ehire Adrianza, although the team could potentially look outside the organization to add depth.

After earning a wild-card spot last season, Minnesota has high expectations for 2018 and likely doesn't want to waste time with a patchwork lineup.

As for Polanco, this is a disappointment for a player coming into his own at this level. The 24-year-old has been a solid defender up the middle with plenty of power at the plate, making him an impact player for a contending squad.

With a few more seasons before even reaching arbitration, however, he still has plenty to prove.

By the time he returns from his suspension, there might not be a starting job waiting for him.

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