Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco is expected to need six weeks of recovery after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle last Friday, according to an announcement from the team. The surgery was intended to fix what was described as a chronic issue for Polanco, and the All-Star should be fully recovered by the start of Spring Training.
Polanco was a major part of the Twins’ 101-win season, hitting .295/.356/.485 with 22 homers over 704 plate appearances. Only six players in all of baseball racked up more PA than Polanco in 2019, and only 35 players appeared in more than Polanco’s 153 games played. Though his defense was something of a mixed bag depending on the metric (a -15.7 UZR/150 but +1 Defensive Runs Saved), Polanco still an immensely valuable player, posting 4.0 fWAR for Minnesota.
This career year was just about the best possible rebound for Polanco, who had something to prove following a 2018 season that saw him receive an 80-game PED suspension. Polanco’s performance immediately made the Twins look wise for locking up the shortstop on a five-year, $25.75MM extension last February. That deal also contains a pair of club options ($10.5MM for 2024, $12MM for 2025) that could keep Polanco in the Twin Cities through his age-31 season.
Super-utilityman Marwin Gonzalez and infielder Ehire Adrianza are on hand for the Twins if Polanco does need any extra recovery time, though by all accounts this appears to be a fairly minor surgery. Polanco didn’t appear too bothered by his ankle problem during his very durable 2019, though he did post only a .706 OPS over 102 PA in September. He rebounded for a .273/.429/.545 slash line over 14 PA in the ALDS, as Polanco was one of the few Twins who performed at the plate during the club’s three-game sweep at the Yankees’ hands.