The Twins are activating second baseman Jorge Polanco from the 10-day injured list before tomorrow’s matchup with the Guardians, manager Rocco Baldelli told the team’s beat (relayed by Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press). Rookie infielder Edouard Julien will be optioned to Triple-A St. Paul in a corresponding transaction.
Polanco spent barely over the minimal time on the shelf after being diagnosed with a left hamstring strain. The abbreviated absence is good news for Minnesota with the switch-hitting infielder off to a nice start to the year. Polanco carries a .284/.327/.484 line with four home runs through his first 101 plate appearances. It’s right in line with the above-average offensive production Polanco has offered in each of the prior three full seasons. He’s a .270/.337/.460 hitter since the start of the 2019 season.
While he’s been out, the Twins have given the bulk of the second base reps to Julien. The Auburn product has emerged as one of the game’s more intriguing offensive prospects with huge minor league numbers. Julien is hitting .210/.296/.435 in his first 72 trips to the plate against big league arms. He’s popped four home runs and walked seven times but he’s already gone down on strikes on 25 occasions.
Second base was the clearest path to everyday playing time for Julien with Polanco on the shelf. It’s understandable the Twins would look to get him regular reps in St. Paul rather than assuming a multi-positional bench role in the short term. The Twins have Willi Castro, Donovan Solano and Kyle Farmer as versatile infield options behind the primary group of Joey Gallo, Polanco, Royce Lewis and Carlos Correa.