Miguel Sano, the hard-hitting but oft-injured third baseman/DH for the Twins, finally rejoined the team Thursday in Seattle after an extended offseason to recover from, what else? An injury. And he wasted no time in getting into the swing of things by going 2-for-5, with two doubles. He contributed to a 16-hit attack and the Twins blew out the Mariners 11-6.
Sano was back in the lineup Friday and struck out three times in a 7-1 Twins win.
So, where do Sano and the Twins go from here?
To be honest, the Twins haven’t missed him. The new-look Twins have plenty of pop in their existing lineup, a lineup that has smashed more than 80 home runs this season and powered the club to an early lead in the American League Central.
If anything, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli’s job just got a little harder. He now has to find playing time for everyone. Both lineups, Thursday and Friday, were successfully tweaked to find Sano some playing time. Thankfully, the Twins have a lot of lineup flexibility with a multi-position player like Marwin Gonzalez.
On Thursday, Sano played third base, Gonzalez took over at first base and C.J. Cron was the designated hitter. On Friday, Sano was the designated hitter, Cron went back to first base, Gonzalez played left field and Ehire Adrianza played third base.
Not playing Friday: Eddie Rosario. And you don’t want to have too many games without Rosie.
There were other changes to Friday’s lineup. Jorge Polanco and Jonathan Schoop moved up in the order, while Max Kepler, previously leading off, fell to sixth. The change of scenery seemed to do him good because he had two hits and drove in three runs.
Meanwhile, pitcher Martin Perez now has the best win-loss record on the team. He improved to 6-1 with a 2.89 ERA after he gave the Twins a quality start with seven strikeouts.
The Twins go for the series win Saturday. Jose Berrios gets the ball.
-The Twins are now 29-15 and have a five and a half game lead on the Cleveland Indians.
-With Mitch Garver and Nelson Cruz on the injured list, the Twins have called up top prospect Luis Arraez.
According to the Pioneer Press:
He (Arraez) went 5 for 14 in his brief time in Triple-A. Before that, he slashed .342/.415/.397 at Double-A Pensacola in 38 games. That came after he spent a good portion of spring with the Twins in big-league camp, impressing his new manager, Rocco Baldelli, along the way.