Miguel Sano tried to run in the outfield before batting practice on Monday, “and it didn’t go particularly well,’ Twins manager Paul Molitor said. So the Twins’ third baseman is not in the lineup for a third consecutive game tonight, and a stint on the disabled list is becoming more likely.
Sano felt tightness in his left hamstring on Friday night, and he hasn’t played since. “He’s not making a lot of progress,” Molitor said. “I was hoping by Day 3 we’d be seeing [him] a little bit better, being in a better position to get him back in the lineup.”
With only four bench players, having someone unable to play can quickly become a problem, so Molitor said the Twins have begun considering putting Sano on the disabled list. By backdating him to April 28, he would be eligible to return next Tuesday in St. Louis; if it appears Sano is not likely to play the next few days, it’s probably worthwhile to add another backup infielder to the roster.
“We’ll see how he does the rest of the day,” Molitor said. “I don’t know how much longer we could wait.”
Meanwhile, Byron Buxton, already on the disabled list for 18 days now, seems stalled in his progress toward a return. His planned running session was cancelled today, though he did put some weight on his fractured left big toe on a body-weight machine in the clubhouse.
Swelling remains in the toe, and the pain returns “once I put it in the shoe,” Buxton said. “It’s pretty much what you can tolerate and what you can’t. If it starts feeling bad, I sit down for a little bit.”
He appears at least a week from being able to play with that toe injury — and he’s been absent long enough that another rehab assignment might be in play.
In the meantime, Buxton is trying to retain whatever timing he can at the plate. He stood in while Jake Odorizzi threw a bullpen session on Monday, and Molitor said he might try to hit off a tee in a batting cage.
Meanwhile, the schedule marches on, with Toronto in town for three days — though these aren’t the Blue Jays you’re used to seeing. Jose Bautista, whose 14 home runs in Target Field are tied for the most by any opposing player, left as a free agent, and Josh Donaldson is rehabbing from a shoulder injury. “Those two aren’t the only guys that have done damage here,” Molitor pointed out. “They’re still playing some really good baseball right now. We’ll have our hands full, but hopefully Lance [Lynn] can hold them down.”
On Wednesday, rookie Fernando Romero will make his big-league debut against the Jays, too, with Phil Hughes moving to the bullpen for now.