Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Sano returns to Twins' lineup, playing first base

Slugger missed nearly 4 weeks with left hamstring strain
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- With an offense that has had issues finding consistent production, the Minnesota Twins got a nice boost on Friday by inserting slugger Miguel Sano back into the lineup.

Sano, an All-Star in 2017 who hit .264 with 28 home runs and 78 RBIs, has missed almost four weeks with a left hamstring strain. After being activated from the 10-day disabled list on Thursday, Sano was penciled in third in the lineup and playing first base.

View Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- With an offense that has had issues finding consistent production, the Minnesota Twins got a nice boost on Friday by inserting slugger Miguel Sano back into the lineup.

Sano, an All-Star in 2017 who hit .264 with 28 home runs and 78 RBIs, has missed almost four weeks with a left hamstring strain. After being activated from the 10-day disabled list on Thursday, Sano was penciled in third in the lineup and playing first base.

View Full Game Coverage

"It's good to come back to my team and help out my team, do my job up here," he said.

Twins manager Paul Molitor was looking forward to the boost his lineup would get from Sano.

"It's a nice piece to have," he said. "Our offense has been battling, but our run production hasn't been very consistent. I like to think he's coming back refreshed and ready to make an impact."

So far this season, Sano is hitting .213 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 20 games.

Video: CLE@MIN: Sano answers with game-tying homer in 14th

Sano also had issues with his left leg last season after a foul tip went off the leg in August. He missed the American League Wild Card Game and had surgery in November to have a titanium rod implanted in his left shin.

Playing first base became a necessity after Joe Mauer went on the 10-day disabled list with a cervical strain, especially against Mariners lefty James Paxton on Friday. Mauer had been in a platoon with Logan Morrison at first.

Sano had previously only had 12 Major League appearances at first base, including one appearance there this season.

Sano has spent much of his career at third base, where he's made 19 appearances this season. But Molitor noted that he'd seen time at both first and third during his rehab assignment to give him some extra positional flexibility.

"I think there's been enough work there between Spring Training and different times when we've had him out there doing work that he knows the position." Molitor said. "It's a little bit different being across the diamond from where he normally plays. When he came back here, I didn't want to worry about his leg being a factor. I want him ready to play day in and day out. As it turned out, because of other circumstances, first base is going to have to be an option right now."

But Sano didn't sound concerned about shifting positions.

"Yeah, I worked on first base in Spring Training," he said. "I played a couple of games already at first base."

Molitor thinks the move to first can work, at least for a little while.

"I don't have any set plans for how it's going to go, but he can handle the position at least adequately," he said. "I know he can catch a grounder. I know he's got good footwork around the bag. He likes new challenges, he's motivated by doing something a little bit different. We'll see how it goes."

Rob Shore is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle.

Minnesota Twins, Miguel Sano