Some more injury news on this less-than-frantic Thursday evening.
According to John Barone of MLB.com, Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner is scheduled to take batting practice on Friday afternoon at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. If it goes well, he could be cleared immediately for a minor league rehab assignment.
“We’re going to have him take a lot of swings, just like normal BP,”
Indians manager Manny Acta told MLB.com. “We’ll see how he feels after that and
talk about the possibility of him going [on a Minor League
rehabilitation assignment] and getting a few at-bats before he joins
Hafner landed on the disabled list in late July with yet another case of shoulder soreness and was batting a disappointing .267/.368/.430 with nine home runs in 82 games before the injury. He has not played more than 95 games since 2007, when the Tribe made it all the way to the ALCS and “Pronk” himself was considered a lethal slugger. Hopefully he can make up for lost time with a strong September. The 33-year-old is owed $13 million in each of the next two seasons.
MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports that Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol.
In a statement, via Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Polanco denied knowingly using the substance. Polanco said, “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.”
Last year was Polanco’s first full season in the majors. He hit .256/.313/.410 with 13 home runs, 74 RBI, 60 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 544 plate appearances.
The Twins have Ehire Adrianza and Erick Aybar to handle shortstop while Polanco is out. The club could also give the starting job to prospect Nick Gordon, ranked No. 4 in the Twins’ system according to MLB Pipeline. Gordon had a solid 2017 campaign at Double-A Chattanooga, posting a .749 OPS with 29 doubles and 13 steals in 578 PA.