Last July, Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano was at the 2017 MLB All-Star Game in Miami representing the Twins strongly with a .276/.368/.538 batting line and 21 homers and 62 runs batted in.
Now, this upcoming July, he could very will be at the minor league level, trying to work his way back to the Major League level.
On Thursday afternoon, the Twins decided to option Sano to the minors, largely because of his struggles on offense. We heard about there being concerns about his conditioning during the off-season, but his below league average OPS of .675 in 163 plate appearances was probably more alarming for the Twins front office.
Usually, when a player gets demoted from the Major League level to the minors they are sent to Triple-A, the minor league level right below Major League Baseball. Minnesota chose to go a different route here with Sano, as they optioned him to their Advance-A affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida.
It makes sense for the Twins to option Sano there, considering Fort Myers is where the organization’s spring training facility is. Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told the Star Tribune that while in Fort Myers, Sano will receive more in-depth instruction to correct what he is doing wrong mechanically, and also work on re-correcting some bad habits:
“We’re not going to follow the traditional view — just go get at-bats at Triple-A,” Falvey said. “We wanted to take a step back and blank-canvas this a bit and say, ‘What do we think the best next steps are for him?’ … We can do a lot of things with the facility we have there, around strength and conditioning and the work you can do from that side.”
Twins manager Paul Molitor announced the decision to demote the 25-year-old Sano following Minnesota’s 3-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, and revealed that first baseman Joe Mauer will return from the disabled list on Friday to take Sano’s place on the 25-man active roster.
“We don’t feel like we’re getting what we need from him, and he’s going to have to get down there and get to work,” Molitor said.
Sano for his career is a .248/.339/.485 hitter with 78 home runs and 222 runs batted in. He has played third and first base, as well as right field while also making occasional appearances at the designated hitter position.
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