Jose Miranda, Lin-Manuel's cousin, gets callup from Twins

May 2nd, 2022

BALTIMORE -- Broadway might soon be coming to a ballpark near you. Newly promoted Twins infielder Jose Miranda has long heard his cousin, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, express his desire to attend a Major League game to watch his relative play in person. Now, the famed playwright will get that chance. 

The Twins summoned one of their top prospects at Monday’s roster deadline by promoting Miranda, along with left-handed pitcher Jovani Moran, from Triple-A St. Paul. The team placed infielder slugger Miguel Sanó (left knee sprain) and outfielder Kyle Garlick (right calf strain) on the 10-day injured list in corresponding moves, also optioning catcher José Godoy and righty Cole Sands to St. Paul.

The moves trim Minnesota’s active roster from 28 to 26 players. Miranda made his Major League debut at third base and batted sixth in the Twins' lineup for their series opener against the Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

“I’m trying to stay calm, let the game come to me and play hard,” Miranda said. “The team is playing really well right now, so it’s a good moment to be here.”

The club's No. 3-ranked prospect, Miranda is the organization’s reigning Minor League Player of the Year, fresh off a brilliant season in 2021, when he hit .344/.401/.572 with 30 home runs and 94 RBIs between Double-A Wichita and Triple-A. His prospect status skyrocketed as a result, propelling the former second-round pick to the big league doorstep. The 23-year-old was off to a slow start this season in difficult hitting conditions at St. Paul, slashing .256/.295/.422 through his first 95 plate appearances. But he’s seen as an advanced, pure hitter with enough defensive versatility to help the Twins at multiple positions, while they weather injuries to Sanó, Garlick and left fielder Alex Kirilloff.

“He’s going to play some third, and I think we might see him at first base as early as the middle of the game today, or tomorrow,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He can DH a little bit, too. It’ll be a nice little rotation between those positions.”

For Baldelli and the Twins, it’ll be a juggling act made possible by Gio Urshela and Luis Arraez’s abilities to move around defensively, as well, and necessitated by Sanó’s knee issues, which came to a head over this past weekend. Baldelli said Sanó is considering surgery to clean up the knee, which would sideline the slugger for a significant portion -- but likely not all -- of the season. Baldelli said that decision would come later this week.

With Kirilloff also out, Minnesota’s first-base depth consists only of Miranda and Arraez, who never played the position before this season. Miranda first played the position as a professional in 2021, and started five of his 21 games at Triple-A there this year. Garlick’s injury, though not considered serious, should free up additional opportunities in the corner outfield.

“He’s a good player, and he’s proven that for a little while now,” Baldelli said of Miranda. “Obviously, the fantastic year last year was impossible to miss. He’s been getting hot as the weather has somewhat warmed up in St. Paul. I think he’ll be able to give us everything we need right now, and I think he’s ready right now.”

A right-handed batter with advanced bat-to-ball skills, Miranda grew up hitting “super little balls with a tiny stick from a really close distance,” thrown by his dad in their native Puerto Rico, he recalled Monday. He then made plenty of contact as a prospect, striking out at a minuscule 12 percent clip while growing into significant raw power. He walked even less than he struck out (6.3 percent over 507 games in the Minors), but that is largely seen as a product of his advanced bat control.

He had plenty of family on hand for his debut, with his mother, stepfather, fiancé and 2-year-old daughter traveling from Puerto Rico to attend. His famous cousin? Maybe when the Twins roll through New York in September, if Miranda’s bat keeps him in the mix. That would also give him time to see one of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s plays, which he admits, he hasn’t had the chance to -- yet.