FORT MYERS, Fla. – Miguel Sano was lying on the floor of the Twins’ clubhouse Tuesday morning, playing catch with himself by tossing a baseball toward the ceiling.
“I’m bored,” Sano said, as though that wasn’t readily apparent.
His baseball life is about to get more interesting, though. Sano will visit a specialist Wednesday, in hopes of getting clearance to stop wearing the protective boot that protects the cut on his right foot.
“His wound has healed pretty nicely, and we’re pretty happy with where we’re sitting,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said after Sano sat out his ninth day of training camp because of the laceration. “He should be progressing, activity-wise, after this visit.”
Sano, who lost at least two dozen pounds during offseason workouts, suffered the cut on metal stairs during a championship celebration in the Dominican Republic on Jan. 25. The Twins, concerned the horizontal cut could reopen as he played on it, had him wear the walking boot beginning last Tuesday.
Sano has done some upper-body work since then, but has yet to do any hitting or fielding. That could change before the weekend.
Nelson Cruz hasn’t appeared in a game since Saturday’s home opener, and with bus rides ahead the next couple of days, he’s not likely to be in the lineup again until the weekend.
Don’t worry, he’s not hurt. He’s 38. And it’s February.
“Nelson’s on a good veteran-preparation program,” Baldelli said. “We’ll probably get him some at-bats on the back field and get him exactly what he needs going into the season. We’re preparing for March 28, and he knows his body pretty well.”
Opening Day remains four weeks and a day away, and Cruz will be ramped up as it approaches. It’s the same philosophy that former manager Paul Molitor used with Joe Mauer in recent years — let me know when you need to play.
“We’ll let [Cruz] see as much pitching as he wants, in any environment that he wants,” Baldelli said. “You’ll see him out there soon.”
• Marwin Gonzalez will spend this week on the other side of the Twins’ complex, working out with the minor leaguers so he can face several sessions of live pitching, rather than the slower speeds of batting practice, as he tries to catch up to his new teammates. “We’re letting him get a chance to get into the swing of things and get his timing down a little,” Baldelli said of the veteran, who joined the Twins on Monday.
• Pitcher Michael Pineda will start Friday’s home game against the Red Sox, the right-hander’s first competition in a Twins uniform. “He’s coming back from an injury, which is a little different from any other season that he’s probably prepared for, but he’s in a good spot,” Baldelli said of Pineda, who missed 2018 after elbow surgery. “I’m looking forward to watching him throw.”
• Michael Reed has been bothered by a sore back since he arrived in camp and has yet to appear in a game. “He’s on a progression. They’re smaller steps,” Baldelli said of the outfielder, claimed off waiver from the Braves in October. “He’s eager to get out there.”
Byron Buxton will try to keep his perfect spring alive Wednesday, batting second when the Twins face the Phillies in Clearwater. Rookie lefthander Stephen Gonsalves gets the start.