Jonathan Papelbon’s three-game suspension for bumping umpire Tony Randazzo earned earlier this month seemed excessive, and someone in the league office agreed, as the penalty was reduced to two games on appeal.
He’ll begin serving it today.
Papelbon was suspended June 7 for an incident that took place two days earlier against the A’s. Randazzo stepped out from behind home plate and took steps toward the mound after getting the impression that Papelbon was yelling at him from the mound. That led to more chatter, an ejection and then the two going chest-to-chest.
Papelbon, who picked up his 13th save last night against the Rays, will be out of action both Friday and Saturday before being eligible to return to the mound for Sunday’s finale against the Brewers. Daniel Bard is likely to close in his place.
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.