The Twins announced Thursday that they’ve reinstated Miguel Sano from the disabled list after a 24-game absence due to a hamstring strain. Outfielder Jake Cave, whom the team acquired in a spring swap with the Yankees, has been optioned back to Triple-A Rochester to clear a spot on the active roster for the slugging third baseman. Sano played a five-game rehab assignment in Rochester and homered twice, showing the club enough to bring him back to the big league roster. Eduardo Escobar has filled in ably at the hot corner (.261/.313/.478 in Sano’s absence), though by plugging Sano back into the lineup, Escobar can shift back over to shortstop and push light-hitting defensive specialist Ehire Adrianza (.220/.287/.297 this year) back into a utility role. Minnesota is three games below .500 but sits just two games out of first place in what has been a feeble AL Central division so far in 2018.
More from the division…
- The White Sox aren’t giving much consideration to sending Lucas Giolito to the minors despite his substantial struggles to this point in the year, manager Rick Renteria told reporters after today’s loss (link via Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times). “He’s just a young man who’s gotta continue to minimize the emotional aspect of crossing from preparation into the game and staying focused, relaxed, and hammer the zone with strikes,” Renteria said of the struggling Giolito, who was rocked for seven runs in 1 1/3 innings earlier today and now has a 7.53 ERA with more walks (34) than strikeouts (27) in 47 2/3 innings. Renteria said he doesn’t consider the struggles of Giolito and recently optioned teammate Carson Fulmer to be similar, noting that Giolito has been able to pitch into the sixth and seventh innings with greater frequency.
- The Tigers did well in finding bargain minor league free agents in an offseason in which the front office was limited by budgetary restrictions, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. McCosky notes that AGM David Chadd, in particular (with help from the scouting and analytics staffs), was tasked with identifying some six-year minor league free agent pickups, leading to acquisitions of players like right-hander Louis Coleman and infielder Niko Goodrum, each of whom has contributed in the Majors so far. As the 32-year-old Coleman explains to McCosky, he was uncertain he’d even get a chance to play this offseason after receiving little interest, and he ultimately had to earn a spot on the Triple-A roster after signing a minor league deal that didn’t have an invite to big league camp. Coleman allowed just four runs with a 15-to-5 K/BB ratio and eight saves in Triple-A before being added to the big league roster, and he’s since turned in seven shutout innings in the big leagues. Goodrum, meanwhile, isn’t getting on base much (.308) but has shown unexpected pop and filled in around the diamond at multiple positions. While the success of each player has come in a small sample of work, they, along with a slate of veterans in Triple-A Toledo, are ably holding down roster spots and performing fairly well while the organization’s younger players progress toward the system’s upper levels and, eventually, the Major Leagues.