The four-game winning streak came to an end Tuesday after the Twins lost 6-5 to the Milwaukee Brewers at Target Field. Key to the loss were two errors, one of which was committed by Miguel Sano in right field which allowed three unearned runs in the fifth inning.
Yikes. Sano botches a line drive to right from Gennett. Goes down as a two-base error.
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) April 19, 2016
Center fielder Byron Buxton also committed an error late in the game, but for Buxton his error was more of an anomaly given his skills as an outfielder. For Sano, though, there’s real concern about whether he can play error-free baseball in right field.
Sano’s hitting skills are not in question. He’s a young slugger who is built to hit a lot of home runs. He stands six-foot four and tips the scales at 260 pounds. Given his size, he’s probably best suited to be the designated hitter or play third base — a position he has played before. The trick is trying to get Sano into the every day lineup, along with first baseman Joe Mauer, DH Byung Ho Park and third baseman Trevor Plouffe, so the Twins decided to put Sano in right field.
But can a 260-pound man really chase down fly balls? I’m not so sure that he can. And how many errors are the Twins willing to tolerate for him to learn the position? Not many, I imagine, and the pitching staff might balk before the front office decides to make a switch.
Some possible solutions:
-Put Mauer in right field: I know the Twins are loathe to put Mauer in harm’s way, but after Mauer recently chased down a ball in short right field and then showed off his arm by throwing out a runner at third base, I say the Twins consider it.
-Put Plouffe in right field: My guess is that Plouffe is faster than Sano, so give the third baseman a shot in the outfield and send Sano to the infield. However, Plouffe first has to get off the disabled list.
-Put Park in right field: Who says Park can’t play right field? The Twins have him slotted in at DH or first base to spell Mauer, but put him out there and see how he does. Could it be any worse than Sano?
Oh boy. Sano just made a meal out of a sinking liner by Scooter Gennett for an error
— LaVelle E. Neal III (@LaVelleNeal) April 19, 2016
Miguel Sano's ghastly error in right field opened up fifth inning, and the #Brewers stepped through to take a 4-2 lead.
— Andy Greder (@andygreder) April 19, 2016
Twins fans have a sense of humor. Pretty good round of applause for Miguel Sano catching a routine fly ball in right field.
— Derek Wetmore (@DerekWetmore) April 19, 2016