The Minnesota Twins have had to deal with just about everything an MLB season can throw at a team, and it’s not even June yet.
The Minnesota Twins have seen everything from injuries to suspension and even an inordinate amount of games lost to weather, and they’re still within four games in the AL Central. The good news for Minnesota is that Miguel Sano has been playing well since coming off of the disabled list last week.
Sano has never been more important in this lineup than he is right now. Joe Mauer is aiming for his own return from the disabled list this weekend. However, it is Sano’s bat that this lineup sorely needs to stay hot.
When healthy, Sano has the ability to change a game with one swing of the bat. However, staying healthy has been the biggest hurdle in Sano’s young career. He has never surpassed 500 plate appearances in a single season and also has never played in more than 116 games. Sano has 77 home runs while playing in 334 games during his career and that is exactly what this lineup needs.
How important is Sano?
Outside of Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario, this offense lacks legitimate pop at the plate. I would include Logan Morrison in that, but he has only five home runs and has struggled overall. Sano brings 30 home run potential and the Minnesota Twins have struggled offensively all season.
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Sano has played in only 24 games during this season and his numbers to this point are uninspiring. He has a .200/.280/.442 slash line with a .722 on-base plus slugging percentage. Not awe-inspiring numbers to say the least, but the sky is the limit for Sano.
Eduardo Escobar has been tremendous this season hitting .263 with seven home runs. Escobar’s emergence during this season gives the team plenty of options, in case Mauer plays less at first base, following his injury. One of those options is playing Sano at a more suitable position.
Without question, Sano has a cannon for an arm and has flashed a little bit of leather during his young career. However, playing first base will be less wear and tear and could help Sano play more games during the season.
Not only will that mean Sano is playing in more games, it should also mean Mauer will be too. As much as this team needs Sano’s power, they need Mauer working the pitcher over too. The potential within this lineup is through the roof and when everything is in place, this team will score plenty.
When Jorge Polanco returns from his suspension, this team will be set up well for a strong second half. Escobar has proven he can handle the hot corner and Sano is currently getting himself acclimated at first base. The Twins lineup will be intact soon, minus Jason Castro, and that’s when they’ll do their damage.