Miguel Sano was sidelined by a left shin issue for essentially the final month and a half of the season, and now he’s scheduled for surgery.
After Aug. 19 this season, Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano had just eight at-bats (all in the final regular seasons series) as he battled a left shin issue that was deemed to be a stress reaction. He was not on the roster for the Wild Card game against the Yankees, and in early October, Twins general manager Thad Levine suggested surgery was still an option for Sano.
Well, as the calendar recently flipped to November, surgery is now officially on the slate for Sano. According to multiple reports, and an announcement from the team, Sano will undergo surgery on his left leg in New York City on Nov. 13.
Sano will have a rod inserted into his troublesome shin, and he’s facing a 6-to-8 week recovery time. That suggests he’ll be fully recovered in plenty of time for the start of spring training, but it also means Sano probably won’t be able to do much in terms of conditioning for most of the offseason.
It was overplayed in some corners of the Twin Cities media in direct regard to this shin injury, but Sano’s weight and physical shape have been issues. The Twins made a big miscalculation by trying to move him to right field in 2016, but Sano also made a mockery of it by showing up to spring training heavier than ever.
Sano hit 28 home runs in 114 games this past season, so there’s no denying his prowess as a power hitter. But, he strikes out a ton, even by today’s relaxed standards (351 times over the last two seasons; 35.8 percent of his plate appearances over that span).
I have to credit Patrick Reusse of 1500 ESPN and the Minneapolis Star Tribune for this, but he’s right on. Sano can be Dave Kingman or he can be Miguel Cabrera, and it’s his choice. The Twins need something to click with him, beyond his full recovery from shin surgery, and thus bring out something that looks like the peak version of Cabrera for many years to come starting in 2018.