The Twins have placed second baseman Jorge Polanco on the 10-day injured list, as Polanco is dealing with tightness in his lower back. The placement is retroactive to June 13. Former top prospect Alex Kirilloff has been called up from Triple-A to take Polanco’s spot on the active roster.
Polanco has missed Minnesota’s last three games, though manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters (including MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park) that a recent MRI did not show anything unusual about Polanco’s sore back. Baldelli said that Polanco has been dealing with back issues “on and off” for the last two seasons, though this is the first time the problem has actually forced the infielder to the injured list. In fact, Park notes that this is the first IL placement of Polanco’s nine-year MLB career, and only his second trip to the injured list over 13 pro seasons.
While this does not look like a long-term absence for Polanco, the Twins will miss his solid bat in the lineup. Polanco’s power numbers are down from his career-high 33 home runs in 2021, but he is still an above-average (114 wRC +) offensive contributor this year, batting .245 / .340 / .389 over 250 plate appearances.
Luis Arraez was already playing second base in Polanco’s absence, which created more playing time for Jose Miranda at first base. Kirilloff also looks to figure into the first base and outfield mix as he looks to finally establish himself in the majors. After batting .251 / .299 / .423 with eight home runs over 231 PA in his 2021 rookie season, Kirilloff’s first year on the show was cut short by wrist surgery last July.
Inflammation in that same wrist sent Kirilloff back to the IL early this season, and with only a .398 OPS to show for his first 32 PA of the 2022 season, the Twins optioned Kirilloff to Triple-A to get him back on track. Judging by his .359 / .465 / .641 slash line over 157 PA for Triple-A St. Paul this year, Kirilloff is healthy, locked-in, and ready to start living up to his highly-touted potential. Minnesota drafted Kirilloff with the 15th overall pick of the 2016 draft, and he was a regular in top-prospect rankings during his time in the minor leagues.