The Minnesota Twins will be needing a short-term replacement at shortstop in 2018 after Jorge Polanco was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Stanozolol.
Stanozolol, which is sold under many brand names, is an androgen and anabolic steroid medication which was derived from dihydrotestosterone.
The Twins issued this statement, following the announcement of the suspension:
“We were disappointed to learn of the suspension of Jorge Polanco for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. 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.”
In a statement, via Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Jorge Polanco denied knowingly using the substance. Polanco said this regarding the suspension:
“Today, I have regretfully accepted my 80-game suspension for testing positive for Stanozolol. 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.”
2017 was Jorge Polanco’s first full season in the Major Leagues, during that time (133 games) he put up a .256/.313/.410 batting line with 13 home runs, 74 RBI, 60 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 544 plate appearances. Polanco’s switch-hitting bat, if he wasn’t suspended, would have been helpful in balancing out the Twins’ lefty-heavy lineup.
The Twins became the first team in Major League Baseball history in 2017 to follow up a 100-loss season with a Postseason berth. After making many moves to improve their squad in the 2017-18 offseason, the Twins are locked and loaded to make another run. Unfortunately for Polanco, he will not be a part of that for most of the 2018 season as they try to overthrow the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central.
The Minnesota Twins will likely resort to Eduardo Escobar, Ehire Adrianza, or Erick Aybar to man the shortstop position until Polanco has served his suspension in its entirety. Minnesota may also resort to giving prospect Nick Gordon the job. According to MLB Pipeline, Nick Gordon ranked No. 4 in the Twins’ system.
Jorge Polanco is not the first player to test positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs in the last 3-years and is not even the first to do so with Stanozolol. The Twins’ ace Ervin Santana tested positive for Stanozolol in April of 2015 and missed the beginning of the season. It is like the old saying by George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”