After missing the second half of 2009 and all of 2010 following shoulder surgery Erik Bedard returned to the mound last night against the Rangers and took a loss, allowing five runs in five innings.
Bedard served up homers to Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus, but two of the runs were unearned thanks to an Ichiro Suzuki error in right field and he allowed just two more hits along with the long balls while throwing 60 of 95 pitches for strikes against a red hot lineup.
It certainly wasn’t an impressive outing, but after 20 months on the sidelines it was decent enough to think Bedard can actually contribute positively this season if he remains healthy. Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner praised Bedard’s curveball and is optimistic that it can still be a knockout pitch if the oft-injured left-hander can throw his fastball for strikes consistently. His last win came on July 7, 2009.
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.