Josh Hamilton hasn’t played since September 4, when he crashed into an outfield wall at the Twins’ Target Field and suffered a bruised ribcage and shoulder.
According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Rangers took a drastic step earlier this week toward getting him back on the field, injecting the area of his ribs with two cortisone shots.
Hamilton is hoping to feel improvement by Saturday and is hoping to return to the Rangers’ starting lineup by early next week. He was batting an MVP-worthy .361/.414/.635 with 31 homers and 97 RBI over 507 at-bats before the sudden injury. The 29-year-old has also shown excellent range in center field, registering a 9.3 UZR/150 according to the great FanGraphs.
The Rangers have a massive 10-game lead over the A’s in the American League West, so they have no real reason to rush Hamilton. But it would be nice for him to get back in the groove of playing every day before the first week of October.
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 Eduardo Escobar, Ehire Adrianza, or 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.