Souhan on Sports Logo

Blog

Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Souhan: Sano staying at third base?

St. Louis

When Twins manager Paul Molitor said Tuesday that Miguel Sano might be close to a promotion, what stood out to me was how he answered my follow-up question.

Have the Twins thought about moving Sano around so he can play other positions once he arrives in the majors?

Paraphrased, Molitor's answer was, no.

So here's a team struggling to score runs. its cleanup hitter is having a productive season. That cleanup hitter, Trevor Plouffe, plays third base, and has dramatically improved his fielding this season. And Sano isn't moving around.

That says, to me, that the Twins' answer to the logjam at third base will be trading Plouffe, now or later. Maybe they could find enough at-bats for Sano by moving him around to first base, DH, left field and third, but if that was the plan he would probably be playing other positions now at Class AA.

Personally, I'd rather see this team with Plouffe and Sano in the same lineup. With Kennys Vargas struggling, Sano could become a full-time DH as a rookie. That goes against the Twins' ways, and would be unconventional, but the Orioles did it with Eddie Murray when Lee May was in his final year as a first baseman, and Murray developed into not only a Hall of Famer but a Gold Glover.

------------

The first SouhanUncensored podcast is up at MalePatternPodcasts.com, featuring Byron Buxton and myself trying to do an interview in the dugout while Eddie Guardado blows cigar smoke at us.

Here's the link:

@Souhanstrib

Souhan blog: On Twins blow-ups, Wolves' draft pick

I'm not in favor of the baseball tantrum that is designed to land the protagonist on SportsCenter. When I see a minor-league manager losing his mind and crawling like a dog, I know he's either unbalanced or seeking attention.

But as someone who grew up watching Earl Weaver and BIlly Martin throw spontaneous and often hilarious fits, I appreciate a good, cleansing, tantrum.

We in this market have already spent too much time parsing Torii Hunter's strip show for meaning. Today let's instead look at a few blowups and what they may have meant:

-Ron Gardenhire's many ejections:

Entertainment value: High.

Meaning, if any: Tom Kelly was Gardenhire's mentor, but Gardenhire didn't follow TK's advice on this topic. Kelly believed in avoiding full-fledged arguments with umpires. He thought it cost his team in the long-run to start feuds. Gardenhire viewed it differently. He believed in ``standing up''' for his players. So when Gardenhire got tossed, he was trying to establish that he was willing to get thrown out of a game and fined while fighting for a player. Either that, or he was sick of watching the Twins' pitching.

-Paul Molitor in 2001:

Entertainment value: High.

Meaning, if any: The Twins had held first place for much of the season. Late in the season, the star-studded, highly-experienced Indians caught and passed them, often showing up the Twins' youngsters when they got a chance. During a late-season series in Cleveland, the Indians' veterans also seemed to be getting the benefit of ball-and-strike calls.

Molitor, then TK's bench coach, went nuts toward the end of the series, throwing objects from the dugout onto the field and getting ejected. He was trying to send a message to the players that they shouldn't easily accept losing or being overlooked, and he was sending a message to the umpires that he would call them out if they showed bias.

-Torii Hunter in 2002

Entertainment value: Highest.

Meaning: Indians pitcher Danys Baez hit Hunter with a pitch. Hunter picked up the ball and fired it back at Baez. No meaning. Just an awesome baseball moment.

-Torii Hunter in 2015

Entertainment value: Pretty, pretty, pretty good

Meaning: Hunter disrobed after arguing balls and strikes at home plate. It may have been a spur-of-the-moment reaction, or it could have been a culmination of frustration from a losing series. Let's ask this question: If the Twins needed to send a message to the umpires, or if a veteran player needed to send the message to the younger players that losing is not to be easily accepted, who else could send it? Joe Mauer? Glen Perkins, from the bullpen phone? Hunter had to be the guy.

-----------------------

Was hearing a couple of weeks ago that Jahlil Okafor was the Wolves' target with the first pick in the draft. Now I'm hearing it's Karl-Anthony Towns. Flip Saunders has always been fascinated by Okafor, but Towns is more versatile, has better shooting range, is a better and more willing defender, and has just as much upside as Okafor.

D'Angelo Russell might wind up being the best player in this draft, but Towns is too perfect a fit for the Wolves to pass up.

At least, that's my view, and I believe theirs, at the moment.

----------------------------

On the new podcast network, MalePatternPodcasts.com, my second installment with Strib hockey writer Michael Russo is up. You can get the links from our Twitter accounts or at the website. Michael breaks down the Wild's offseason and speaks of roasting vegetables, slacks, detox, life without coffee and grills me on the Twins.

@Souhanstrib

7:10 PM (FSN)
Baltimore 43-39
Minnesota 43-39

Today's Scoreboard

  • San Diego

    Pittsburgh

     

    - Top 1st

    0

    0

  • Cincinnati

    Washington

     

    - Delayed

    0

    0

  • Houston

    Cleveland

     

    - Bot 1st

    4

    0

  • St. Louis

    Chicago Cubs

    7:05 PM

  • Toronto

    Chicago White Sox

    7:10 PM

  • Tampa Bay

    Kansas City

    Postponed

  • Atlanta

    Milwaukee

    7:10 PM

  • Baltimore

    Minnesota

    7:10 PM

    FSN

  • Philadelphia

    LA Dodgers

    9:10 PM

  • Detroit

    Seattle

    9:10 PM

  • NY Mets

    San Francisco

    9:15 PM

Connect With Star Tribune Sports