CHICAGO – Miguel Sano isn’t here and won’t be in Toronto this weekend. But the Twins are hopeful that his stay on the disabled list won’t extend much beyond this road trip.
“I’m guessing with that kind of injury, the fact that it intensified over a short period, I’m hoping the converse of that works — that we can calm it down quickly, too,” manager Paul Molitor said after the All-Star third baseman was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday because of a stress reaction in his left shin. “But when he returns, we’re going to have to probably be a little careful in how he’s used.”
That’s because the bone weakness can worsen into a fracture if too much stress is placed on it before it’s fully healed. In Sano’s case, that might mean waiting a few extra days before putting him at third base, where he’s made a number of nimble plays this season.
“Whether [designated hitter] is something we have to consider more frequently, those types of things” will be discussed before he returns, Molitor said. “We’re just hoping Miggy has a good week while we’re on the road in getting that [shin] back in shape, and hopefully we get some news about potentially getting him back sooner than later.”
To replace Sano on the roster, the Twins recalled Kennys Vargas from Class AAA Rochester. Sano will be eligible to return Aug. 30. Until then, Molitor said he doesn’t want his team focusing on what it is missing the middle of the lineup.
“I don’t really like the notion that guys have to step up and do more. You’re aware that you’ve lost a big bat in the middle of your lineup,” he said, “but you’ve still got to be who you are.”
• Tim Melville, who started Game 1, was placed on the 25-man roster, with Nik Turley sent back to Class AAA Rochester. But Turley remained with the team for Monday as the 26th man, making him eligible to pitch in both games. Melville likely will be sent back to Rochester, too, with another pitcher — perhaps Aaron Slegers, who gave up two hits in his debut Thursday — called up to start Saturday at Toronto.
• Hector Santiago will throw a bullpen session Wednesday and Alejandro Mejia on Thursday, then repeat that step over the weekend. Both injured lefthanders could make rehab starts for Rochester next week.
• Twins players gathered on the field Monday afternoon to watch the solar eclipse, which was still visible even through the cloud layer over Chicago. “It reminded me of watching one when I was in grade school,” Joe Mauer said of wearing the dark eclipse-watching glasses. “Pretty impressive.” But to Molitor, “it didn’t electrify me.” He recalled watching a couple of eclipses years ago, one by holding a half-dozen photo negatives together as eye protection.