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Baseball notes: Twins shortstop Polanco suspended for 80 games

March 19,2018 09:18

Polanco's suspension might not be the only action MLB takes regarding the Twins' infield. The league has investigated third baseman Miguel Sano, accused in December of an assault in October 2015, and could announce soon whether Sano will be disciplined ...


Twins’ Polanco suspended
Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco was suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy. He tested positive for the drug Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.
The news comes as a huge blow to the Twins, who were counting on Polanco, 24, to build upon the development he showed in the final two months of 2017. He batted .316 with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs in 55 games then, frequently batting third in the lineup.
“To be clear, I did not intentionally consume this steroid,” he said in a statement. “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.”
Polanco will be eligible to return June 30, assuming there are no postponements during the season’s first three months. He will be ineligible for the 2018 postseason.
Eduardo Escobar is the logical option to man the position during Polanco’s suspension.
Polanco’s suspension might not be the only action MLB takes regarding the Twins’ infield.
The league has investigated third baseman Miguel Sano, accused in December of an assault in October 2015, and could announce soon whether Sano will be disciplined.
Mets’ Vargas is sidelined • Mets pitcher Jason Vargas is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks because of a broken bone in his right (nonpitching) hand. He suffered the injury Friday, when he was hit on the hand by a line drive in a minor-league game.
The Mets acquired Vargas, 35, in free agency in the offseason, signing him to a two-year, $16 million contract. He went 18-11 with a 4.16 earned-run average for Kansas City last season, making his first All-Star team and tying for the major-league lead in wins.
With Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom set to face the Cardinals on March 29 and 31, Vargas had been penciled in to start the series finale April 1.
Matt Harvey could move into the third spot in the team’s starting rotation.
Rangers prospects ailing • Cole Ragans, the Rangers’ No. 1 pick in 2016 and perhaps their top pitching prospect, needs Tommy John surgery. The lefthander felt discomfort in his elbow during a recent minor-league game and an exam revealed a torn ligament. He will miss the entire season.
Kyle Cody, the 2017 Rangers minor league pitcher of the year, hasn’t pitched this spring because of elbow inflammation and won’t do so for at least another three weeks.
Elsewhere • The Royals signed relief pitcher Justin Grimm to a one-year contract for $1.25 million with up to $300,000 in incentives. He was released Thursday by the Cubs, with whom he played for four-plus seasons and won a World Series championship. Grimm, 29, made 50 appearances last season, going 1-2 with a 5.53 earned-run average.
• The Yankees sent rookie third baseman Miguel Andujar to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, clearing the way for Brandon Drury to claim the spot. The move allows Andujar, who hit .262 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 14 spring training games, to work on his defense in the minors. Drury hit .267 with 13 homers and 63 RBIs for Arizona last season.
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