LAS VEGAS – Technology is a wonderful thing. Especially when it can be used to track Miguel Sano’s conditioning.
The burly third baseman vowed to work on his body during the offseason. In addition to hiring a personal trainer, he’s made trips to the Twins academy in Bahia, Dominican Republic, for workouts. The Twins have had their director of Latin American scouting, Fred Guerrero, check in on him as well.
And Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey has been able to watch videos of Sano’s workouts from his office at 1 Twins Way instead of relying on reports and conference calls.
“Just the great benefits of using iPhones and videos and other things so you can see individual workouts,” Falvey said cheerfully at the annual baseball winter meetings, which officially begin Monday. “You can see running and things like that, from where he’s at in the Dominican. Then he’ll get to see some of his strength coaches who are down at the Dominican academy. He’s doing well. Hopefully, from what we have seen so far, everything is tracking in the right direction.”
Sano got a late start on his conditioning program because of lingering soreness near his left knee, stemming from an injury he suffered while sliding into second base in Houston. Once he was healthy, the Twins sent Ian Kadish, their minor league strength and conditioning coordinator, to the Dominican Republic to run some tests on him to see how fit he was. That gave the Twins a baseline to work from.
“From that point, Ian has been able to track and monitor Miguel,” Falvey said, “and he has seen progress.”
The plan is for Sano to fly to Fort Myers, Fla., later this month to work out at the Twins’ facility while checking in with the strength and conditioning staff.
How much this will help Sano won’t be known until the games begin.
Sano reported to 2017 spring training at 293 pounds, then hit .199 with 13 homers and 42 RBI during an injury-plagued season.
He might play some winter ball before he reports to camp in February, but the Twins haven’t decided yet.
“We’ve said to this point that we have been focused on [the conditioning] side of things,” Falvey said. “While games are sometimes helpful for certain players, we think the priority with him is giving him the time to get his body where it needs to be.”
The signing of Jonathan Schoop made it official: Brian Dozier will remain a former Twin.
Dozier was traded by the Twins to the Dodgers during the season but hit just .182 in 47 games the rest of the way and was relegated to a reserve role during the postseason.
There was no contact between the Twins and Dozier once the offseason began. Then the Twins made the move for Schoop. Dozier, who played for the Twins for six-plus seasons, now is in a second base market that also includes Josh Harrison, DJ LeMahieu, Daniel Murphy, Jed Lowrie and others.
No Rule 5 action?
It’s unlikely that the Twins will be active in the major league phase of Thursday’s Rule 5 draft. Their 40-man roster is full, so they would have to make a move to clear space to add a player.
But things could change as the morning of the draft nears. Meanwhile, the Twins could lose players in the draft. That includes lefthander Tyler Jay, the sixth overall pick in 2015, whose good fastball and solid breaking ball could be of interest to teams.