KANSAS CITY, MO. – Coming off one of the most discouraging and yet weirdly encouraging seasons of his career, Miguel Sano says he intends to do more with less in 2022.
Less of him, he means.
"I got my plan for the offseason: Try to lose like around 30 pounds," Sano said Friday. "That's something I put for myself, for my life, my future. … Like, I want to be in better shape. That's one of my goals in the offseason."
That's been one of the Twins' goals for the 28-year-old slugger for years, with obviously mixed results. But after enduring the worst stretch of his career to open this season — nearly three times as many strikeouts (58) as hits (21) in April and May — Sano said he's ready to change the shape of his body and the arc of his career.
"A lot of stuff happened this year, and I don't want to see that happen next year again," Sano said. "I'm ready to work in my offseason."
Except for a brief trip or two to visit family in the Dominican Republic, Sano will split his time this winter between Minnesota — where his son Dylan is enrolled in grade school — and Fort Myers, where he, his nutritionist, and Twins coaches and trainers hope to document a transformation. He'll work on his swing, and try to make his second-half approach, focused on using the entire field and not just pulling the ball, permanent.
Sano's second half, which includes 15 home runs, a .500 slugging percentage and .836 OPS, has redeemed his season and given him extra motivation.
"It's a very meaningful year for Miguel coming up. He's come back in the second half this year, but going into this offseason, it's going to be an offseason for him unlikely any other," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "He's looked around and seen what it takes for guys to prepare, take care of their bodies, their skills. I think he's ready to take that next step in his career, and that next step is an offseason of work that hopefully takes him to new heights."
Sano said Nelson Cruz influenced his decision, and he hopes he is able to influence the Twins' decision about Cruz, who is a free agent at the end of the year.
"Yeah, I talked to a couple guys here. The boss — I told Mr. Pohlad to bring him [back] next year," Sano said of Twins owner Jim Pohlad.
So did it work? "Everybody said the same: 'Yeah, I hope so,' " the lobbyist said.
• Lefthander Lewis Thorpe, his season spoiled by shoulder pain that has kept him on the injured list since mid-August, accompanied the Twins to Kansas City to continue his throwing program that has him nearly healthy again. The rest of the Twins' injured list, 10 in all, were allowed to leave for the winter.
• Twins coach Bill Evers, who is retiring at season's end, will be honored by the team before Sunday's game, including having him handle the lineup exchange with the umpires at home plate.