Miguel Sano has a moderate strain of his left hamstring, and Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said Friday that the right fielder will need longer than the minimum 15 days on the disabled list to recover.
“As big a guy as he is, you’ve got to be careful and make sure he’s 100 percent when he comes back,” Ryan said. “It’s not going to be a 15-day ordeal.”
A magnetic resonance imaging exam confirmed the strain, with manager Paul Molitor adding that there were signs of bleeding in the area, which he said is common. Sano will rest for few days, until the soreness subsides, before he begins therapy.
“It’s all going to be trainers and maintenance and that stuff for a while before he can do anything with that leg,” Ryan said. “It’s got to settle down, and I don’t know how long it will take.”
Sano injured the hamstring Tuesday at Oakland and was promptly put on the DL. The Twins won’t rush things with Sano, who is listed at 262 pounds.
“The good news is that it’s not significant, so there was probably a little bit of slight stretching or minor tearing,” Molitor said of Sano, who is batting .235 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI. “There’s nothing significant in terms of us believing that it’s going to be anything more than just trying to recover from a hamstring strain.
“The one factor being that his hamstrings are different than most other people’s.”
The one challenge in recovering from a hamstring strain is that it’s difficult to simulate game conditions during the process. A player can take batting practice, run the bases and chase after fly balls before games, but the stopping, starting and dealing with periods of little action then suddenly a lot of action can aggravate the injury. Sano likely will head out on a minor league rehabilitation assignment as a final test before returning to the Twins.
But the club isn’t ready to put a timeline on Sano’s recovery until he resumes baseball-related activities.
Danny Santana has pulled the hamstring in each of his legs this season. The outfielder landed on the DL Monday because of a right hamstring strain.
Dean to start Tuesday
Lefthander Pat Dean has been named the Twins starter Tuesday against Miami, meaning righthander Phil Hughes is back in the bullpen.
Hughes was moved to the bullpen a week ago, but was needed to start Thursday when Kyle Gibson came down with back problems. Hughes gave up four runs to the Rays over four innings on eight hits and one walk as he continues to struggle.
Indications are that Ricky Nolasco, who started Friday, will get the ball Wednesday against the Marlins, the team he pitched for from 2006 to 2013.
Testing back, shoulder
Speaking of Gibson, the righthander will start Sunday for Class AAA Rochester when the Red Wings visit Louisville. He landed on the DL last month because of a sore shoulder and was about to return before his back flared up earlier this week.
Sunday’s start will be a test for both his shoulder and back before he is allowed to pitch for the Twins. He is expected to throw around 90 pitches.
“It will be good for him to go out and have a good, long outing that eases any concern regarding either his shoulder of the little back issue that flared up here the last week,” Molitor said.
Boston is in town next weekend, and the Twins will take time out before Friday’s game to honor the retiring David Ortiz, who broke in with the Twins in 1997 and played for six seasons before he was released, signed with the Red Sox and transformed into Big Papi.
Former Twins teammates, including Torii Hunter, LaTroy Hawkins and Corey Koskie, will be on hand for the brief tribute.