Acting GM Rob Antony verified this morning that Miguel Sano, one of the Twins top prospects is out for the 2014 season and will be under-going “Tommy John” surgery sometime next week. Sano has had elbow issues off and on since late last season and had been shut down this past winter but was given the green light in late January to resume baseball activities. Sano made a strong throw on a slow roller during an inter-squad game on Thursday and felt something in his elbow. Sano was removed from the game shortly thereafter and had an MRI on Friday afternoon. This morning Sano learned the results and nows faces surgery and a long and difficult recovery.
This is such a tough break in so many ways for both Sano and the Twins but at least it is a definitive diagnosis and steps can now be taken to get the issue remedied. The moaning has already started among some Twins fans that surgery should have been done right away last fall and that rest seldom corrects these kinds of issues but to me it just makes no sense to have any kind of surgery unless there are no alternatives. All lesser invasive options needs to be exhausted before surgery is selected and I think that the Twins and Sano went about this the right way. For a player that loves playing baseball as much as Sano does, this has to be heart breaking and particularly disheartening when this was probably going to be the year that he first put on a big league uniform. For the Twins who come off three consecutive 90+ losing seasons it hurts when a young up and coming slugger has to lose a year of development. I know I was expecting to see Miguel Sano playing 3B for the Twins at Target Field at some point this season and it just seems like another kick in the gut to many Twins fans that were hoping to see one of the Twins prospects arrive in Minnesota. But many times what appears to be a door closing may actually lead to another opening so now we just have to wait and see what is behind door number two. Good luck Miguel and here is to a swift recovery.
Most of the Twins players had already left for JetBlue to play the Red Sox in the first exhibition game of the season by the time I arrived at Hammond Stadium yesterday so it was a relatively quiet day. I watched players like Aaron Hicks, Josh Willingham, Joe Mauer and numerous others taking batting practice. It was interesting watching BP as Rod Carew and other coaches looked on and gave the hitters situations such as “bases loaded” and then told the hitters where they wanted them to hit the ball. I was amazed at how often these guys put the ball exactly where they were asked to hit it. But thn again this was BP and not a game situation. Later I watched Rod Carew as he had a number of players work on their bunting skills. Some of these hitters looked like they had never been asked to bunt in their life. I can’t help but wonder how players in a big league ST camp can be such poor bunters.
I had a chace to spend a few minutes talking with Bill Springman the Twins minor league hitting coordinator who has had the job since 2007. Springman was fun to talk with about his job, travel and all the former Twins players that he has tutored over the years. Springman loves the Twins organization for many reasons and feels it is one of the best organizations that you can possible work for. One of those reasons is GM Terry Ryan and Springman has great respect for Ryan and how he runs his operation. I am hoping to hook up with Bill again this summer and get his view-point on how the future Twins are doing in the system.
There was just a few players on one of the minor league fields getting in some early workouts but the entire minor league contingent will be arriving in the next few days and soon those fields will be buzzing with activity. It is always fun watching those groups when they start playing games in the next week or so.
The Twins have 64 players in camp, 29 pitchers, 8 catchers, 15 infielders and 12 outfielders. It won’t be long before those numbers start to dwindle.