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Twins place Sano (hamstring) on DL

Molitor optimistic third baseman won't miss much time; Castro, Santana making progress with injuries, but Buxton has not
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- After he missed three straight games with a left hamstring strain, the Twins placed third baseman Miguel Sano on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday, before Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays. Minnesota selected the contract of infielder Gregorio Petit to take Sano's spot on the roster, and it designated left-hander Dietrich Enns for assignment to create a 40-man spot for Petit.

Additionally, the club announced it returned Rule 5 Draft pick Tyler Kinley to the Marlins after he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings with the Twins. Minnesota had hoped to work out a trade to keep him, but he was sent back to Miami after being designated for assignment on Wednesday.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- After he missed three straight games with a left hamstring strain, the Twins placed third baseman Miguel Sano on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday, before Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays. Minnesota selected the contract of infielder Gregorio Petit to take Sano's spot on the roster, and it designated left-hander Dietrich Enns for assignment to create a 40-man spot for Petit.

Additionally, the club announced it returned Rule 5 Draft pick Tyler Kinley to the Marlins after he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings with the Twins. Minnesota had hoped to work out a trade to keep him, but he was sent back to Miami after being designated for assignment on Wednesday.

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Sano, 24, was hitting .213/.289/.450 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 20 games. He has the highest strikeout rate in the Majors, striking out in 40 percent of his plate appearances. Sano will be eligible to return on May 8, when the Twins play the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said that he is optimistic that Sano's return date could come sooner rather than later.

"Because of the further testing that we did today, that diagnosed it as a Level 1 strain, I think there's some encouragement there," Molitor said. "Obviously you're dealing with a little bit of a different hamstring than most people have. So we'll have to see how it goes. We just haven't seen a lot of progress here in the first three or four days. That probably tempers the optimism somewhat. Well just try to keep him doing what we can in the short term and see what happens."

"I'm hoping it's on the short end," Molitor said. "Whether it's gonna be 10 days or a little bit more than that -- a couple weeks -- we'll have to see."

Petit, 33, has played parts of five seasons in the Majors with the A's, Astros, Yankees and Angels, hitting .249/.291/.353 with four homers and 32 RBIs in 171 games. He hit .293/.323/.362 in 17 games with Triple-A Rochester this season. He got the start at second base in place of Brian Dozier and hit ninth on Tuesday.

"We know him well form Spring Training," Molitor said. "He's a guy who's been around. He knows what professionalism is about. I actually originally had [Dozier] out last Sunday. … I just think he's ready to take a little bit of a break. He's been trying to grind through it day in and day out. We'll give Gregorio a chance to hop right in there and see what he can do."

Enns, acquired in the trade that sent Jaime Garcia to the Yankees at last year's non-waiver Trade Deadline, was 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts with Rochester. He struck out 11 and walked 11 in 20 innings. He got his first taste of the Majors last year, allowing four runs (three earned) in four innings over two appearances with Minnesota.

Worth noting
• Twins center fielder Byron Buxton wasn't able to run again on Tuesday, as he remains bothered by the hairline fracture in his big left toe. Buxton hasn't played since April 12 and a rehab assignment is likely, once he's healthy enough to run and hit without any issues.

• Catcher Jason Castro has a minor knee issue he suffered on last week's road trip, but the Twins are hopeful he'll return to the lineup on Wednesday, Molitor said. Mitch Garver started at catcher for the second straight game on Tuesday.

• Right-hander Ervin Santana, who is recovering from surgery to remove calcium deposits from his right middle finger in early February, progressed to throwing off a mound on Tuesday. He threw only fastballs and changeups, but Molitor said it's encouraging that he's able to throw bullpen sessions without any issues.

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

Minnesota Twins, Byron Buxton, Jason Castro, Miguel Sano, Ervin Santana