The Cubs have activated Marlon Byrd from the disabled list, exactly six weeks after he suffered facial fractures when he was hit by a pitch from Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves on May 21.
Byrd is batting sixth and playing center field this afternoon against the White Sox. He was cleared to return after going 4-for-15 (.267) with a home run and a double over four minor league rehab games with Triple-A Iowa.
As Aaron mentioned earlier this week, the 33-year-old is expected to wear a specially-designed helmet in order to protect his face.
Byrd was hitting .308/.346/.419 with three home runs and 11 RBI over 182 plate appearances prior to the injury.
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.