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Jorge Polanco Receives 80-Game Suspension For PED

FT. MYERS - According to the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball. According to the report, Polanco has been suspended for testing positive for Stanozolol.

The suspension will start at the beginning of the season. Below you will find a statement from the Twins and from Jorge Polanco.
Image courtesy of Douglas DeFelice, USA Today
The Twins have issued a statement.


"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."

Jorge Polanco issued his own statement upon the release of the news:

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.


Every bone in my body wants to appeal this suspension but out of respect for Derek Falvey, Thad Levine, Paul Molitor, my coaches, my teammates, and the entire Twins organization, I have decided to withdraw my request to appeal and will begin serving my suspension immediately. My hope is that through this extremely disappointing situation other players will learn from my mistake.


I hope that those who have believed in me, those within the Twins organization, my teammates, and the fans in Minnesota and in the Dominican Republic will accept my sincere apology. I will continue to train hard every day in the hopes of being able to contribute to winning baseball games with the Twins later this year.


The news is very tough for the Twins and their fans. Polanco provided about two Wins Above Replacement last year. He hit .256/.313/.410 (.723) while playing better than expected defense at shortstop. The 24-year-old was especially strong the last two months of the season, After August 1st, he hit .316/.377/.553 (.931) with 15 doubles, ten homers and 42 RBI over the final 55 Twins games.

The suspension opens up the possibility for Erick Aybar to make the Opening Day roster and potentially compete with Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza for innings at shortstop.


Tomorrow morning, Polanco and Twins CBO Derek Falvey will be available to discuss the suspension.

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174 Comments

Good luck for Aybar, I’d guess. Escobar might see some reps at 6 too? Never good news to lose a player for half a season, but of all the players to lose, Polanco is probably among the most expendable.
    • caninatl04 likes this

So if/when Sano gets suspended the left side could be Esco and Aybar? Woof.

    • bighat and caninatl04 like this
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Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Mar 18 2018 03:32 PM

Good luck for Aybar, I’d guess. Escobar might see some reps at 6 too? Never good news to lose a player for half a season, but of all the players to lose, Polanco is probably among the most expendable.

 

Not the way he played at the end of last year...

    • bighat, sloopjont and Nine of twelve like this

So, when does Polanco's 40-man roster spot open up?In other words, do the Twins need to hold Polanco's roster spot until the beginning of the season, meaning they'd have to cut someone else on the 40 now in order to put Aybar on the 40?

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Tom Froemming
Mar 18 2018 03:36 PM

This sucks. I'll give Polanco the benefit of the doubt and believe his story, but if this is really the case teams really need to start doing a better job of monitoring who these guys are working with in the offseason and what they're putting into their bodies.

 

You're a professional athlete. It's not a mystery what substances are and are not legal. Get it together. 

    • Carole Keller, Jerr, gil4 and 11 others like this
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terrydactyls1947
Mar 18 2018 03:36 PM
If you want to take B-12 and an iron supplement, then go to the damn drug store and buy it yourself. Don't trust anyone else.
    • Carole Keller, Jerr, BD57 and 10 others like this

Same substance that Ervin Santana tested positive.Not sure that Aybar is an automatic to make the team, since both Adrianza and Escobar can play SS.This means that Erick Aybar, Jake Cave, Zack Granite, Robbie Grossman, and potentially even Ryan Lamarre or Brock Stassi fighting for 2 positions.  

 

The suspension opens a 40-man spot until mid-season as well that opens the possibility to be filled from outside the roster.

 

Not many free agents left out there, but the Twins are looking for a home for Kennys Vargas as well...

 

SS Adeiny Hechavarria currently of the Rays is owed $5.9 million for 2018.Might be a trade that benefits both.

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Andrew Thares
Mar 18 2018 03:37 PM

In addition to the 80 game suspension, Polanco will not be eligible for the postseason if the Twins make it. Gonna need someone to step up in his place.

Not the way he played at the end of last year...


If you believe that Polanco’s second half was sustainable and indicitave of the future, then it’s a big loss. I don’t believe that, but I’d be glad to be wrong.

Plus, there are decent (not great) options to replace him. Given my expected output for Polanco and the options to replace him, I’d rather see him gone for 80 games rather than pretty much all other position players.
    • Mike Frasier Law likes this
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Winston Smith
Mar 18 2018 03:42 PM

Can JJ Hardy still play a little or is he still pissed at the twins?

 

If you believe that Polanco’s second half was sustainable and indicitave of the future, then it’s a big loss. I don’t believe that, but I’d be glad to be wrong.

Plus, there are decent (not great) options to replace him. Given my expected output for Polanco and the options to replace him, I’d rather see him gone for 80 games rather than pretty much all other position players.

I think he's talented.I think he's a legit major league starting player.But one has to wonder how much he was helped by what he was taking?

    • Kwak likes this
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Carole Keller
Mar 18 2018 03:50 PM

 

This sucks. I'll give Polanco the benefit of the doubt and believe his story, but if this is really the case teams really need to start doing a better job of monitoring who these guys are working with in the offseason and what they're putting into their bodies.

 

You're a professional athlete. It's not a mystery what substances are and are not legal. Get it together. 

Not only that ... yet again ... it's someone from the DR. I'm not saying that in any kind of negative way, it's just a higher percentage of athletes from the DR that are the ones testing positive. If he needs a B12 and iron supplement, perhaps get it directly from the Twins.

 

    • Jerr, caninatl04, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this
Aybar is not good. This is bad. We just can't have nice things as Minnesota fans
    • Twins33, Mike Frasier Law, jud6312 and 1 other like this

Any chance the Twins try and trade for Jurickson Profar? 

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Carole Keller
Mar 18 2018 03:55 PM

Defensively, isn't Adrianza supposed to be, uh, good? I'd guess he would be the main replacement at SS with Esco jumping in?

 

That said, Polanco has been having a rough spring, lots of errors so far. Maybe this time off gives him time to get it together. I've never been that high on him as a full-time SS but where do you go from here at this point?

    • Kevin, Platoon, rdehring and 1 other like this
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Tommygun921
Mar 18 2018 03:57 PM
Can't you buy iron and B-12 supplements at Walmart?? Gotta be smarter than that. Does someone need to be removed from the 40 man or does his suspension open a spot?

Wow. Terrible news. Very disappointed in Polanco. 

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this
IMO there is zero possibility he didn't know what he was taking.

None.
    • Han Joelo, Blake, Jerr and 9 others like this

IMO there is zero possibility he didn't know what he was taking.
None.



I agree, this is the same substance most Domincan players are caught with. Clearly not an iron supplement. Also important to note that the teams have supplements that they know are ok and are available for the players. They don’t need to get them from anyone in the DR.
    • USAFChief, Jerr, beckmt and 3 others like this

 

Defensively, isn't Adrianza supposed to be, uh, good? I'd guess he would be the main replacement at SS with Esco jumping in?

 

That said, Polanco has been having a rough spring, lots of errors so far. Maybe this time off gives him time to get it together. I've never been that high on him as a full-time SS but where do you go from here at this point?

Do not know, if I do not like my options, maybe this is the time to give Gordon a shot and ride with him.If he fails option him and bring up one of the outfielders. Escobar and Adrianza should be good as infield backups.Only issue is if Sano is also suspended, then the Twins depth could be tested.  

Maybe Twins need to start Lewis in Chattanooga as a backup line and see if Lewis can handle it to accelerate his timeline.

    • Carole Keller, Vanimal46 and flyin fin like this

At this point, I don't believe in the "B-12" argument either.  Given the extreme poverty some of these Latin guys come from, I'm not sure how much I even blame them for taking the risk.  I don't condone it, and he deserves the penalty; just saying I'm not casting stones too hard. I've got a family to feed too.

 

Disappointed nonetheless.  This is Adrianza's chance to seize a starting job, and I am bullish on him.  

 

Seems to me, unless they are ready to promote Gordon at the first injury, Aybar will make the team.  Putting stats and/or reality aside, I'm not opposed to adding his veteraniness to the mix.

    • Mike Frasier Law likes this
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Winston Smith
Mar 18 2018 04:18 PM

It should be standard on all player contracts, front page, DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING THAT DOES NOT COME FROM THE TEAM TRAINERS!!!!!!!

Then tattoo it backwards on their forehead!

    • Blake, Jerr, LaBombo and 5 others like this
The window is open for you, Nick Gordon. Let's hope you get hot in AAA and earn a quick promotion.

I'm pretty disgusted with Polanco right now. I wouldn't be opposed to trading him after his suspension is over.
    • Blake and mikelink45 like this

 

It should be standard on all player contracts, front page, DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING THAT DOES NOT COME FROM THE TEAM TRAINERS!!!!!!!

Then tattoo it backwards on their forehead!

I suspect a lot of front offices know/suspect that their players are doing this and are ok with it so long as they don't get caught. It's hard to imagine why front offices let players continue to train with Angel Presenal back in the day if they didn't think PEDs were in use.

    • Twodogs and caninatl04 like this
Give Gordon a chance to wally pipp Polanco. Maybe he's the type that responds to challenge, maybe not. If not, Adrianza, Escobar, Aybar and Petis can just be in a hot hand rotation until Polanco returns.
    • jud6312 and Original Whizzinator like this

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