Jake Westbrook, who signed a two-year, $16.5 million contract to stay with the Cardinals earlier this week, is currently recovering from surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. Our own Aaron Gleeman first passed along news of the surgery last month.
The procedure, which Westbrook told the Associated Press was neither major nor minor, but something “in between,” will prevent him from swinging a bat until early on in spring training.
“It only hurt to swing so I wasn’t too worried about it,” Westbrook said. “I should be good to go when the season starts, and I don’t think they’re too concerned about my hitting. “I’ll be good to go throwing the ball like any other year, so I’m not really sweating the whole swinging thing.”
The 33-year-old right-hander said he originally hurt the shoulder on a swing and miss against Josh Johnson in his second start with the Cardinals on August 7. Welcome to the National League, pal!
Westbrook managed to post a 3.48 ERA and 55/24 K/BB ratio in 12 starts after coming over from the Indians at the deadline, so the injury obviously didn’t affect his performance on the mound or the Cardinals’ willingness to award him with a new contract.
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.