Yankees first baseman Greg Bird went on the disabled list in early May with a bruised right ankle and began a minor league rehab assignment earlier this month. Unfortunately, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that Bird suffered a setback in his rehab when he fouled a ball off of his right leg, causing renewed swelling, Newsday’s Erik Boland reports.
Bird, 24, impressed in spring training, batting .451 with eight home runs and 15 RBI in 51 at-bats. At the end of spring training, though, he fouled a ball off of his right foot, which impacted his effectiveness during the regular season. From the start of the season through May 1, Bird hit a paltry .100/.250/.200 in 72 trips to the plate.
Chris Carter has handled first base while Bird has been out, but he hasn’t hit much, compiling a .207/.298/.371 triple-slash line over 161 plate appearances.
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.