Miguel Sano was Minnesota's number two prospect going into 2014, when he was also ranked as highly as number three among league-wide prospects. Those kind of rankings carry some pretty lofty expectations, but that's come from day one with Sano when he was compared to superstars like Alex Rodriguez, Evan Longoria, and Hanley Ramirez. That potential was derailed in March when it was announced that he'd be going under the knife for the game's most notorious operation.
On Wednesday night, the Twins held their annual "town hall" meeting - also known as the annual season ticket holder conference call. There, amongst a great many other things, Terry Ryan commented on Miguel Sano. The talking point that's become of those comments is based around eight words: he could go to the outfield if needed.
Ryan on Sano, who he was with yesterday in Ft. Myers: "He looks pretty healthy... He could go to the outfield if needed." #mntwins— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) October 9, 2014
That announcement, for whatever it's worth, has seen a backlash from Twins fans. Some of it has been the surprise that was expressed in the notion that Sano wouldn't start at third base from Opening Day, but a good deal of the criticism also came from the quarter that doesn't like to see Sano changing position. It's a legitimate argument, especially since the concern is mostly about doing what's right for the team (and Sano) in the long-term.
It is worth asking, though: what's best in the short term? Considering Sano's potential and the season that Trevor Plouffe just had, the Twins would be wise to get them both into the lineup if it's at all possible. So why consider Sano moving to the outfield, instead of Plouffe?
- Because the team will need a third baseman from Opening Day, when Sano won't be on the roster.
- There could be a short-term health benefit for Sano.
...his Tommy John surgery from earlier this year leaves questions about whether he can make the throw from third base across the diamond on a regular basis. The infield throwing motion tends to put more stress on the elbow due to the compact nature of the throw, as opposed to outfield throws which involve longer loads.