Baseball Debates: A new series of posts that raise debatable questions about the wide world of baseball. Each post will pose a question, argue both sides of the debate and then let you, the reader, have the final say. You can find the previous installments here: Fences, Saves, Coaches, Kurt Suzuki, MLB Season, Aaron Hicks and Pedro Florimon. Let’s get to it!
Welcome back to another installment of Baseball Debates! Up this week is a controversial topic and it involves the dreaded Tommy John Surgery. The Minnesota Twins announced yesterday that uber-prospect Miguel Sano will undergo TJ surgery and will miss all of the 2014 season. You could have made the case for Sano to start the season in Double A or Triple A, but he is so crazy full of power that not many people would have blinked an eye if he started at 3B for the Twins. But now instead of debating about where he should start the 2014 season or when he’ll make his first appearance for the Twins, the organization and fans will have to wait until 2015. With Sano facing the knife in the next couple of weeks, Puckett’s Pond would now like to ask, Is Miguel Sano’s Surgery Good News for the Minnesota Twins?
- The Twins and Sano decided back in November to try and rest and rehab his elbow instead of having surgery, but in the end it didn’t get any better. Having Tommy John Surgery now should ensure that Sano is ready to go for Spring Training in 2015, instead of delaying his return trying and failing to rest/rehab it more. Plus, Sano’s ability should be unaffected after his recovery.
- The Twins farm system is absolutely stacked with talent and potential, but it is staggered across the many levels of the organization. Players at the top like Sano and Alex Meyer are nearly MLB ready, with Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario not far behind them. Any team would love to have those four as a future core but consider that the Twins also have pitching prospects Kohl Stewart, Jose Berrios and Lewis Thorpe a couple of years still from the big leagues. With Sano’s arrival a year delayed, it gives more time to the prospects lower in the system to catch up with the talent above them and wreak havoc together for longer for the Minnesota Twins.
- The Twins won’t have to use up any service time for Sano while he recovers and they will get to keep his entire period of pre-free agency intact while he plays with the next crop of Twins stars.
- Now that Sano won’t debut until at least 2015, the Twins can take more time with Meyer and Buxton to develop their tools in the minor leagues instead of throwing them into the majors before they might be ready. If Sano was already in the MLB, the Twins might have felt pressured to add more talent to the roster to support him or prematurely display their future stars together.
- Sano still needs time to develop and his injury and recovery might actually give it to him. If Sano would have been healthy in 2014, there would have been a ton of pressure from the fans to have Sano play in Minnesota prematurely if he had started the season in the minors. But now that he will be returning from injury in 2015, there should be a ton more fan leniency if the organization decides to keep Sano in the minors for longer to develop.
- Sano was a shiny big present that Twins fans were going to get to open this year at some point and now we’ll all have to wait 365 days longer.
- Now that Sano is out for the season, there goes a huge source of excitement for the organization in 2014. Imagine how hyped his debut would have been or how crazy the fans would get when he hit his first homerun as a Twin. Now we have to wait another full year for that to happen and instead we’ll get 3B full of mostly Trevor Plouffe.
- Sano probably wouldn’t have hit for much of a batting average at all in the majors in 2014 but his power plays at any level. Unless Josh Willingham and Jason Kubel have bounce back years, Sano would have been one of the lone sources of serious power for the team.
- Serious injuries and surgeries like this are never good and no matter how many players fully recover from them, there is always a chance of diminished potential and skills. In the case of Sano who’s never played in the MLB, we won’t really ever know how much this affected his ability and we might be left always thinking about what could have been, even if he does mash 30+ homeruns each year.
- If Sano’s arrival is delayed, Terry Ryan and the top brass might decide to delay Buxton and Meyer’s debut, or maybe even Josmil Pinto’s arrival in order to make all of the stars align better with service time and what not. Even with the upgraded 2014 pitching staff, this would make 2014 a very boring year to be a Minnesota Twins fan.
Now it’s your turn to vote! Leave a comment to support your decision or to let me know if I missed any important supporting or opposing points!