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Twins 2B Jorge Polanco exits game vs. Rays with apparent leg injury

The one-time All-Star has been in and out of Minnesota’s lineup all year long with a knee injury.

Jorge Polanco of the Minnesota Twins bats against the Cleveland Guardians on June 3, 2023 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

It’s been that kind of year for the Minnesota Twins lineup. The team entered play on Thursday a disappointing 22nd in baseball in team OPS, in large part due to injuries to Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, Joey Gallo, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco — if you can name a Twins regular, odds are they’ve spent at least some time on the injured list this season. And now it looks like Polanco could be headed back after the second baseman left Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays on a truly fluky play.

Polanco smoked a line drive that looked like it was ticketed for center field. But the ball ricocheted off the second-base umpire, turning into an out at second base — while Polanco pulled up lame getting down the line to first. Ouch.

Polanco immediately left the game, replaced by Donovan Solano in the DH spot. The team has yet to issue an update on the nature of the injury.

The second baseman has been snake-bitten over the last year-plus, with knee issues that limited him to just 104 games last year and delayed his start to the 2023 season. When healthy, the 29-year-old has become a very reliable middle infielder, hitting .269/.335/.459 (116 OPS+) since 2019. If he’s forced to miss an extended period of time — which feels like the norm in cases like this, but who knows — Minnesota does have top-100 prospect Edouard Julien waiting in the wings in Triple-A.