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Twins’ Jorge Polanco suspended 80 games

Minnesota will be without its starting shortstop for the first half of the season.

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been handed an 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy, as the league announced Sunday afternoon. Polanco received the ban after testing positive for Stanozolol, a PED that is banned under league policy and has been the cause of numerous suspensions in recent seasons.

Polanco, 24, assumed the full-time role as the Twins’ starting shortstop in 2017, and after struggling in the first half, he posted a .293/.359/.511 slash line with 10 homers in 257 plate appearances after the All-Star break. He finished with a .256/.313/.410 line with 13 homers and 13 steals over 544 PAs on the season.

With Miguel Sano stepping back in at third base — assuming he doesn’t receive a suspension himself, as MLB began investigating sexual misconduct allegations against him over the winter — Eduardo Escobar appears likely to hold down the fort at shortstop while Polanco is out. Ehire Adrianza, who reached the majors as a glove-first shortstop but began to fill more of a utility role in his first season with the Twins last year, also figures to see playing time at the position. The suspension also drastically increases non-roster invitee Erick Aybar’s chances of making the Opening Day roster, and the .271/.313/.372 career hitter could provide another alternative at short.