The Twins announced that they have placed infielder Jorge Polanco on the 10-day injured list due to left knee inflammation, retroactive to August 31. To take his place on the active roster, they selected the contract of infielder Jermaine Palacios. To open a spot for Palacios on the 40-man roster, catcher Ryan Jeffers was transferred to the 60-day IL.
Polanco, 29, has been dealing with this knee issue for a while, having last played on August 27. IL placements can be retroactive but only to a maximum of three days. Minnesota’s primary shortstop for much of his career, Polanco has slid over to second base for the past couple of campaigns, yielding to Andrelton Simmons last year and Carlos Correa here in 2022. His bat has been just as productive as ever this year, as he’s hit 16 home runs and is slashing .235/.346/.405 on the season. That production is 20% better than league average, by measure of wRC+, just shy of his career best wRC+ of 124, outside of a five-game cameo in 2014.
With Polanco on the shelf, Nick Gordon has been manning the keystone this week. For the season, he’s hitting .279/.322/.440 for a wRC+ of 118. That should allow the club to avoid a significant downgrade on the infield, though it means Gordon is subtracted from an outfield mix that has lost Byron Buxton and Alex Kirilloff to the IL in the past month. The Twins are just a single game behind the Guardians in the Central division and four games back of the Blue Jays for the final Wild Card spot in the American League.
Palacios, 26, briefly made his MLB debut earlier this year when selected as a “substitute” while Correa was on the COVID IL. He got into eight games before being returned to the minors. He’s played 101 Triple-A games and hit .283/.341/.462 on the year for a wRC+ of 112. Defensively, he’s played primarily shortstop but also spent some time at each of the other infield positions as well as the outfield corners, giving the club some extra depth all around.
As for Jeffers, this move is largely a formality as he has been out of action since mid-July due to a thumb contusion. He will now be ineligible to return until 60 days from his initial IL placement, which would be mid-September. He recently resumed baseball activities but hasn’t yet started a rehab assignment and was targeting a late September return to action.