The Twins have activated third baseman Miguel Sano from the 10-day disabled list, as per a team announcement. The slugger last played on August 19, a day after fouling a ball off his left shin and causing a stress reaction.
What was initially thought to be some minor soreness led to a pretty lengthy DL stint for Sano, and even some worry that he wouldn’t be able to return this season. However, Sano reportedly made some progress in recent days at swinging the bat, looking good enough that the Twins feel comfortable in activating him in time for their final regular-season series, and of course their upcoming AL wild card game appearance. Of course, there isn’t yet any guarantee about how much action Sano will see, whether he returns to the everyday lineup or is used as a pinch-hitting threat.
The Twins’ run to a wild card after a 103-loss season in 2016 is amazing enough, though it’s even more surprising that Minnesota was able to hold steady through September even without its top hitter. Sano has a .267/.356/.514 slash line and 28 homers over 475 PA, with a 126 wRC+ that leads all Twins hitters.
Given both the nature of Sano’s injury and the fact that he isn’t a speedy runner even at the best of times, one would think the Twins will be looking to use Sano as a designated hitter the rest of the way. Eduardo Escobar has filled in at third base in Sano’s absence and delivered some unexpected power, hitting .257/.299/.584 with eight homers over 107 September plate appearances.