Miguel Sano mentioned Baltimore’s Manny Machado, Colorado’s Nolan Arenado and Texas’ Adrian Beltre as some of the top defensive third basemen in the game.
“I try to be one of those guys,” Sano said.
The Twins star made a play like one of the top defenders of the hot corner Tuesday when he went well to his right to grab an Austin Jackson grounder, hit just inside the third base bag. With his momentum carrying him well into foul territory, Sano unleashed a big throw that bounced once before Joe Mauer scooped it to complete a highlight-reel play.
“It was a great play because we have been working really hard,” Sano said. “I come every day early. I work on defense and I’m happy I can make those play.”
Sano said he received congratulatory messages from many friends and family members, and also Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano, one of his best friends.
Sano’s arm — he has said he can hit 94 miles per hour on the radar gun — might be the best aspect of his defensive game.
“I think we’ve seen Miguel make some impressive across-the-body throws when he’s stepped on third and thrown to first on a couple of double plays,” manager Paul Molitor said. “That’s another one where it is hard to get a lot on the ball.”
The defensive stats aren’t kind to Sano, though. Fangraphs.com has his defensive runs saved at minus-6, which is 16th among third basemen. But Sano appears intent on putting in the work to improve.
Sano worked on agility drills during spring training so he could cover as much ground at third base as possible. He comes out in the early afternoon before night games and has first base coach Gene Glynn hit him ground balls. Sano wants his glovework to be as impressive as his power at the plate.
“I want to play third base my whole [career],” he said. “It’s fun there.”
A magnetic resonance imaging exam on Twins lefthander Hector Santiago has revealed inflammation in the cervical area, Molitor said.
So Santiago will be given a cortisone shot to see if that cures the problem. It will take two to three days for the medication to work its way through the area before the Twins will be able to tell if it worked.
“We’re hoping that’s the source of some of the discomfort that he’s feeling, relating to trying to throw a baseball,” Molitor said.
If it works, Santiago will get back on a throwing program, then face hitters again. Santiago has not pitched in a major league game since July 2 and last pitched at Class AAA Rochester on Aug. 9. He will need a little time if all goes well to build up his arm strength.
Santiago has been on the disabled list because of upper thoracic back pain.
No Perkins yet
The Twins weren’t ready to announce their plans for lefthander Glen Perkins, who is ready to rejoin the team following a lengthy recovery from a torn labrum last season.
“What happens in games sometimes expedite your decision, or at least make one in a more timely fashion,” Molitor said before Wednesday night’s postponement. “So we are going to get through [Wednesday].
“I know he’s anxious. … He wants to be out there.”
Since the three-time All-Star is on the 60-day disabled list, Perkins needs to be added to the 40-man roster as well, but that’s not an issue because the Twins had only 38 players on the 40-man roster as of Wednesday.
If the Twins don’t find a way to get him on the active roster, they might schedule a simulated game for him. He last pitched on Saturday and Sunday for Class AA Chattanooga before returning to the Twin Cities.
“If we decide to not get him on the roster in the next day or two here, we could consider that,” Molitor said.
Perkins’ 30-day rehab window opened on July 22 and will close Sunday. The Twins have until then to add him to the roster.
• The Twins held a moment of silence Wednesday for Joe Boyle, who was part of the Twins broadcast team from 1975 to ’78. Boyle died earlier this week.