Twins third baseman Miguel Sano is expected to rejoin Class A Fort Myers in a few days after traveling to his home in the Dominican Republic because of a family illness.
Sano left the Miracle on Sunday after going 2-for-4 with a double in a loss to the Lakeland Flying Tigers. He was placed on the temporarily inactive list on Monday. It will be his first extended period off since being optioned to Fort Myers on June 14 to work on his conditioning as well as his swing.
The Twins understand Sano's situation, and also considered that it is All-Star week and he has not had a break yet.
In 19 games for Fort Myers, Sano is batting .328 with two homers and 12 RBI. In his last six games, Sano is batting .360 with a homer, five RBI, seven walks and nine strikeouts. Miracle hitting coach Steve Singleton said Sano started off slow before his workouts began to pay off.
"He was searching for some stuff when he got down there," said Singleton on Monday, as he served as the U.S. team hitting coach for the All-Star Futures Game. "He stuck to the plan that was given to him from up top and worked hard. He has gotten into good shape, and the on field performance has been there."
Sano has been on a program during which he would be the designated hitter one day, play third base the next day then not play the third day - but spend that day working out and going through offensive and defensive drills.
The Twins were planning on increasing his playing time before the family matter came up.
Twins manager Paul Molitor said last week that Sano would have to be moved up to Class AAA Rochester to face better competition before they would recall him to the major leagues.
While the front office has indicated that it will be sellers before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the players hold out hope they can take a big enough bite out of their 7 1/2 game deficit against Cleveland in AL Central to hold off those types of transactions.
They will welcome back righthander Ervin Santana, who has recovered from finger surgery, following the All-Star break. And, if they can win enough games to make the division race interesting, calling up Sano in the next few weeks would be a boost to their hopes - a longshot at this point - of chasing down Cleveland.
Sano was demoted on June 14. He was batting .203 in 37 games for the Twins with seven home runs and 66 strikeouts in 148 at-bats. In 2017, he batted .264 for the Twins with 27 home runs in 114 games.
A leg injury that required off-season surgery kept him out of the lineup for the final weeks of last season, including the Twins' Wild Card game loss to the Yankees.