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Molitor encouraged by Sano's progress

Third baseman is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

CHICAGO -- Twins third baseman Miguel Sano didn't join the club on its road trip, as he stayed back at Target Field to rehab his strained left hamstring, which prompted his placement on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday, retroactive to Saturday.

Sano has yet to progress to running, but Twins manager Paul Molitor said he was encouraged by the way Sano's hamstring has been healing after talking with head trainer Tony Leo.

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CHICAGO -- Twins third baseman Miguel Sano didn't join the club on its road trip, as he stayed back at Target Field to rehab his strained left hamstring, which prompted his placement on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday, retroactive to Saturday.

Sano has yet to progress to running, but Twins manager Paul Molitor said he was encouraged by the way Sano's hamstring has been healing after talking with head trainer Tony Leo.

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"The strength is returning a little bit better, in terms of some of the resistance things that they're doing," Molitor said. "So, you know, there's some healing going on there. We'll just have to see when we get back to baseball activities."

Video: MIN@NYY: Sano slugs 114.6-mph homer vs. the Yankees

Sano, who is hitting .213/.289/.450 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 20 games this year, is eligible to return on Tuesday, when the Twins play the second game of a two-game set in St. Louis. There remains a chance he could go on a short rehab assignment depending on how quickly his hamstring heals. It's the third straight year Sano has been placed on the DL with a hamstring issue.

The Twins are also still deciding whether Byron Buxton will need a rehab assignment once he's healthy enough to play after suffering a hairline fracture in his left big toe on April 22. Unlike Sano, Buxton joined the Twins on their road trip, but there's still no official timetable for his return. He could test out running as soon as Friday.

"I think that you can tell a little bit by his energy and his smile that he's probably feeling a little bit better," Molitor said. "Those are good things, as we get closer. I don't really have a date in mind, I haven't been given a date. We'll have to end up having to decide about what's the right thing to do in getting him out and getting him some at-bats, or just go ahead and plugging him back in."

Molitor congratulates Ichiro

Video: Ichiro transitioning to new office role with Mariners

The Mariners announced Ichiro Suzuki will be transitioning to the role of special assistant to the chairman and won't play again this season. While there has been no mention of retirement yet, Molitor had nothing but praise for Ichiro, as he served as the Mariners hitting coach in 2003 and is close friends with Ichiro's agent, John Boggs.

"There's a lot in that resume that few people are going to be able to compare with," Molitor said. "I was surprised to see him come over here after getting 1,000 hits in Japan and add 3,000 more over here. I mean, the odds weren't in his favor to accomplish as much as he has. But when you're around that guy, you can see he's wired differently."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Miguel Sano