Gemini has”had internal discussions” about Jorge Polancobaseball official Derek Falvey said Polanco has yet to play in any Spring Training games. Left knee soreness prematurely ended Polanco’s 2022 season, so the Twins decided to bring in the second baseman slowly this spring, giving him a chance to return to full knee fitness before taking the field.
However, this process has taken a little longer than Polanco or the Twins would have liked. “We have had [Polanco’s knee] I checked a couple of times this spring to make sure we were in a good place with himFalvey told the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Phil Miller and other reporters. “He’s been slowed down a little, just a little. But we wanted to be absolutely sure that nothing was wrong….There has been no setback.”
Despite this, Falvey added that Polanco is simply “the days are running out” in order to get the necessary number of games under his belt before Minnesota opens the season on March 30. Although Polanco has participated in some live batting practice and only came up with a few “normal tendernessWith his knee, the veteran will certainly require in-game reps to fully prepare for his 10th MLB season.
Polanco had never been on the major league injured list until last June, when he missed just over the minimum 10 days with a bad back. A more pressing concern arose later in the season when Polanco’s left knee began to bother him, and August 27 ended up being the outfielder’s final game of the 2022 campaign.
As Falvey noted, there doesn’t appear to be anything structurally wrong with Polanco’s knee, so there’s no fear of a more serious injury. But the lingering soreness is sure to bother Polanco after a full offseason and rehab, and his nagging knee could now cost him more of the regular season.
Although a newcomer to IL, Polanco has an injury history, having undergone relatively minor ankle surgeries following both the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Polanco played through pain for most of the 2020 season, and his desire to stay on the field cost him production-wise, as he hit just .258/.304/.354 over 226 plate appearances during the shortened season. Over the past two years, Polanco has looked much better (.256/.332/.465 in 1,089 PA) and surely he’ll be hoping to put his knee issues behind him rather than risk another injury-plagued year in .
If Polanco has to miss time, the Twins have a good amount of second base depth to cover the position for at least a short-term absence. Nick Gordon and new acquisitions Kyle Farmer and Donovan Solano can all play multiple positions, giving Minnesota versatile options off the bench.