The Twins announced today that slugger Miguel Sano will undergo surgery on his left leg on Nov. 13. Sano missed most of the final six weeks of the season after suffering a stress reaction in the leg upon fouling a ball into his shin. Though he returned to play in a few games at season’s end, he ultimately was not deemed healthy enough to be on the club’s roster for the AL Wild Card game. MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger tweets that the surgery will insert a titanium rod into Sano’s leg and is expected to come with a six- to eight-week recovery timeline.
Sano, 24, belted 28 home runs and hit .264/.352/.507 through 483 plate appearances as Minnesota’s primary third baseman in 2017. Though he took steps forward in terms of average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, strikeouts continue to be an issue for Sano, who whiffed in nearly 36 percent of his plate appearances this past season. He also walked at an 11.2 percent clip and has done in 12.3 percent of his big league plate appearances, so he should continue to post solid OBP marks even if the strikeouts persist.
The Twins will count on Sano to help anchor a lineup that will enter the 2018 season with much different expectations than the 2017 club carried. He joins Byron Buxton, Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler as part of a young nucleus of Twins talent that is expected to make up the core of the team for the foreseeable future.