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Who’s on first?

The end of the Sano era and the start of—what, exactly?

Suspicious Pair Photo by Gene Lester/Getty Images

Not long ago, Marea mused about Miguel Sanó’s future with the Twins. Personally, I’ll take things a step further: I don’t think Sano will play another game for Minnesota. The fact that I’m not sure whether to be sad or relieved pretty much typifies Sano’s career.

I actually have a lot of positive memories from Sano’s tumultuous tenure here:

  • Him coming up in 2015 with a polished eye that would wait on quality pitches and send them into orbit. His momentous blasts to LF were the reason I started sitting primarily down the third base line at Target Field (and later purchased a season ticket thereabouts).
Baltimore Orioles v Minnesota Twins
Rookie Sano was a lot of fun
Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images
  • His first half of 2017 and subsequent showdown with Aaron Judge in the finals of the Home Run Derby that All-Star Break (Fun fact: Sano defeat Gary Sánchez to reach those finals).
  • His healthy contributions to the Bomba Squad of 2019.

Heck, even the Great Right Field Experiment of ‘16 was entertaining in a tragicomic sense:

Unfortunately, the reality of Miguel Sano was all too often this: in a baseball environment where batter strikeouts are tolerated more than they’ve ever been, he still managed to strike out far too much. Either a waste of talent or an inability to adjust his approach—or some combination of both.

Anyway—being of the opinion that Sano has played his last game for this team—it begs the question “who’s got next?” at the first sack? Joe Mauer seems comfortably retired and Justin Morneau is content with his announcer’s perch.

A few options for who will lead the team in putouts the next few years...

  • Alex Kirilloff: Seemed the logical/obvious choice until a potentially chronic wrist injury muddled his ceiling.
  • Trevor Larnarch: Never really groomed as a corner infielder, but his bat could play in that role.
MLB: JUL 07 White Sox at Twins
1B duo of the future?
  • Jose Miranda: Would seem to be the third baseman of the future (I’m starting to realize it won’t be Urshela), but maybe plans change and he mans the other corner spot.

Who do you think will be stretching and scooping at the not-so-hot corner the most the next few seasons? Let’s put it to a vote, shall we...

Poll

Twins first baseman of the near future (rest of this season and 1-2 more)?

  • 44%
    Kirilloff
    (87 votes)
  • 9%
    Larnach
    (19 votes)
  • 20%
    Miranda
    (41 votes)
  • 10%
    Sano (sigh—maybe I’m too early with his Twins obituary)
    (21 votes)
  • 14%
    Other/Not currently on roster
    (28 votes)
196 votes total Vote Now