Twins’ all-star shortstop Jorge Polanco has ankle surgery
MINNEAPOLIS -- All-Star shortstop Jorge Polanco had surgery on his right ankle last Friday, Nov. 22, an arthroscopic debridement for an ankle impingement that had been bothering him.
Polanco will wear a boot to protect his ankle for a few weeks then work on strengthening exercises. The shortstop is expected to resume baseball activities in about six weeks, and the Twins anticipate he will be ready for spring training.
Though the ankle issue was caused by repetitive stress, Polanco did not miss time for it last season, when he slashed .295/.356/.485 with 22 home runs for the American Central Division winners.
Gibson to Texas
Longtime Twins starter Kyle Gibson is headed to Texas on a three-year, $30 million deal, according to multiple reports.
Gibson’s 13-7 record last season was a career-best, but a strong season was derailed late by ulcerative colitis, which landed him on the injured list. He finished the year with a 4.84 earned-run average, a jump from his career-best 3.62 ERA in 2018. By season’s end, he was in the bullpen.
The Twins have three open rotation spots behind All-Stars Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi — who recently accepted a one-year, $17.5 million tender. The team declined an option on left-hander Martin Perez but might have an interest in retaining right-hander Michael Pineda, who will start next season finishing a 60-game suspension after testing positive for an MLB-banned diuretic.
Shelton to Pirates
The Twins lost another valuable member of their coaching staff on Wednesday when bench coach Derek Shelton was named manager of the Pirates. Shelton interviewed for the Twins’ top job in 2018, and was a finalist for the Mets’ job this offseason.
Shelton, 49, served as the Twins’ bench coach for two seasons, first for Paul Molitor and then 2019 American League manager of the year Rocco Baldelli.
“My family and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Pittsburgh community and are humbled to be a part of this storied franchise,” Shelton said in a release sent out by the Pirates.
Shelton is the third coach to leave in the wake of a 101-win season. Hitting coach James Rowson left for Miami, and a source confirmed that assistant pitching coach Jeremy Hefner will be named the Mets’ pitching coach.
The Twins also lost minor league hitting coordinator Peter Fatse to the Red Sox, and minor league catching coordinator Tanner Swanson to the Yankees this offseason.