Notes: Sanó, Arraez, Spring Training tickets

February 24th, 2021

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- has worked hard at improving his technique and instincts at first base, taking time during the offseason to study film of his role models at the position -- Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Albert Pujols -- while working with close family friend Fernando Tatis Sr. on the field.

The Twins worked Sanó exclusively at first base last year to give him as many reps as possible at the position after he relocated to accommodate the addition of third baseman Josh Donaldson, but manager Rocco Baldelli said that the Twins may not have seen the last of the slugger's glove at the hot corner just yet.

Though Sanó's primary position will remain first base, he is expected to get some work at third to maintain the roster's versatility.

"This is a different team," Baldelli said. "We’re going to do it in a completely different way this year. ... We’re going to look to different guys and make this thing work in a completely different way, and hopefully in an even more productive way."

Sanó isn't the only one who's stretching out to more positions. will be the starting second baseman, but he'll continue to put in work at shortstop. will get reps at both first base and in the outfield. Increased flexibility will only help the Twins as they look to weather the losses of Marwin Gonzalez, who played corner infield and corner outfield, and Ehire Adrianza, who could play all four infield positions.

Sanó still prefers playing third base -- that's where he can utilize that cannon of a right arm -- and that should be significant this year, when Donaldson's usage could be more limited. The Twins asked Sanó to be ready at third late last season when Donaldson was hurt, and he's eager to keep that going.

"He’s certainly got the ability to do it," Baldelli said. "He’s got the confidence to do it. I don’t think he’s concerned one bit, and we could certainly see him over at third at different times. I still think Miguel is going to play mainly first base for us, but having that option is always nice."

Arraez to spend most of camp at second, third
There's been talk of moving between the infield and outfield in 2021, but Baldelli said Wednesday that most of the 23-year-old's reps in Spring Training will come at second and third base.

Most of Arraez's defensive appearances as a professional have come at second, but there's also likely to be a need at the hot corner due to the Twins' stated desire to ease Donaldson into action early in Spring Training and in the regular season. Arraez could also factor into left field after learning the position on the fly in 2019, but that's not where the focus will be this spring.

Baldelli also said there's a chance that Arraez could see limited action at shortstop and even at first base, but the manager said that those positions are "not a priority." Arraez has made 32 Minor League appearances at shortstop, but he's never played first base as a professional. Wherever Arraez plays, Baldelli described the young contact hitter as a "regular" and spoke highly of his ability to adapt to new situations.

"I don’t know, because I’ve never really seen him go over [to first]," Baldelli said. "But I would say knowing Luis as a player, as an adjustment maker, I bet he could go over there and do it. We’re going to get into the spring, we’re going to watch him get his work in at second and third mainly. We’re going to kind of talk and see if first base makes sense, and if it does, we’ll go down that road. We’re not at that point yet."

Twins sell out of Spring Training ticket allotment
It only took around 30 minutes for the Twins to sell out of their full complement of tickets for home Spring Training games at Hammond Stadium.

A limited number of tickets were made available to the general public at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, encompassing slightly more than 2,400 seats per game for the Twins' 14-game home Spring Training schedule. The allotment had first been offered for purchase to Spring Training season ticket holders before the remainder were made public.

All tickets were sold in distanced pods of two to four seats. The Twins plan to implement distanced seating at Hammond Stadium by drawing spaced-out areas in the outfield berm and blocking off large swaths of chairs in the general seating area.