Back in June Jonathan Niese left a start with a rapid heartbeat. He missed a couple of days but then came back and finished out his season, with doctors deciding that he did not need a heart procedure — an ablation procedure — until the offseason.
Now it’s the offseason and the doctors have changed their mind again: he doesn’t need it. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports:
“The doctors just said that it was nothing major and that I didn’t need to have surgery,” Niese said via telephone Monday evening. “I’m just going to go on as normal and that’s it. It’s a really good thing.”
Niese finished the season 13-9 with a 3.40 ERA in 190 innings.
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.