Jorge Polanco can’t remember when his right ankle first started nagging him. It was before the all-star break, or perhaps right after it, he said.
But what matters more wasn’t when it first started bothering him, but the fact that it continued to get worse as the season progressed and the pain didn’t subside into the offseason.
“I took a rest to see how it was going to be after I took a rest,” Polanco said. “When I started working out, it started bothering me again. That’s why I came here and talked to the guys to see what they thought and moved forward.”
That led to an arthroscopic debridement in November to fix the ankle impingement, a chronic injury caused by repetitive stress, the Twins said. Months later, as the Twins begin camp, Polanco said he is feeling good. The shortstop said he spent much of his offseason in Fort Myers working with the team trainers, who have set a program for the all-star shortstop.
“I would say it’s close. I have to get the notification from the doctor before I can go full,” he said. “I’m still waiting for him for the day I can go full. We’re following him so we need to wait a little more.”
Polanco isn’t sure when that day will be, but he has been swinging and said he ran on Saturday “really hard, probably close to 100 percent.”
“It felt good,” Polanco said. “A little bit uncomfortable in my mind, maybe because of the surgery, but it’s still really good.”
While the surgery did take away from his workouts and his plans for the offseason, there have been other things Polanco has been able to do as he tries to replicate his success from a season ago.
After signing a multi-year extension last offseason, Polanco hit .295 with a .356 on-base percentage and .485 slugging percentage. He set career highs with 186 hits, 40 doubles, 22 home runs and 79 runs driven in.
“I’ve been watching a lot of videos, trying to watch what I did last year and trying to memorize the things I did last year to be ready for this season,” Polanco said.
Gang's all here
The gang’s all here. Almost, at least.
Three clubhouse presences who are impossible to miss — Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano and Nelson Cruz — reported to camp on Sunday ahead of Monday’s mandatory report date.
With the trio now in town, almost everyone has reported to camp — reliever Fernando Romero is still being held up in the Dominican Republic by visa/immigration issues. The Twins will hold their first full squad workout on Monday.
On his first day at camp, Sano was out taking grounders at first base. Sano is shifting over to first base as the Twins welcome in new third baseman Josh Donaldson. Cruz was out there with him, though don’t expect to see that from the designated hitter once the season gets underway. Cruz, from time to time, has also taken grounders at second.
“He’s a creative guy. He’s not afraid to try new things even when he hasn’t been asked,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “…I don’t know if he’s going to be seeing any action at first base, but maybe he’s breaking the glove in for somebody else.”
The Twins also added Drew Maggi and Zander Wiel to major league camp. Maggi, an infielder, spent most of last season with Triple-A Rochester and Wiel, an outfielder, spent the whole year there.