After two games at Class A and five at Class AA, Miguel Sano has arrived at the final stop on his road back to the majors.
Sano has reported to Class AAA Rochester and is expected to be in the Red Wings lineup Saturday. How long he stays depends not so much on how well he hits, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said, as much as how comfortable he becomes with playing several days in a row.
“It’s not results dependent, it’s really not,” Baldelli said. “Do I know if it’s going to be four, six, eight games? No. … It’s going to be more than a few games at Rochester. He’s going to play several consecutive games in a row and just get the feel of taking the field every day.”
Sano, returning from a laceration on the back of his right leg, went 4-for-20 (.200) in five games with Pensacola, with a home run, a walk, and seven strikeouts. His rehab assignment expires May 19, but “I could certainly see him wanting to be back today,” Baldelli said. “He’s been doing well. Getting to the Triple-A level and seeing a significant amount of pitching, getting a significant number of [at-bats], will be very helpful.”
Perkins’ next chapter
Glen Perkins always wanted to try broadcasting, but long road trips away from his wife and two daughters “was kind of a deal-breaker for me right now.” But the Twins and Fox Sports North offered a position that he found appealing: Analyzing games during the pregame and postgame shows.
The three-time All-Star closer made his debut Friday, the first of 31 games he has been assigned this season.
“I ran out of projects at my farm, and I needed something to do,” said Perkins, whose 120 career saves rank third in franchise history. Broadcasting “is something I always wanted to try.”
He did last season as an in-game analyst on a pair of online broadcasts for Facebook. “In time, it’s something maybe I would explore more seriously,” Perkins said. “But I’m watching a lot of Twins games, so this made sense for right now.”
Sitting a spell
Jorge Polanco had played 290 of a possible 306 innings this season when Baldelli made a decision Wednesday to give him a rest. So when Polanco singled in the bottom of the seventh in Rogers Centre, the manager sent Ehire Adrianza in to pinch-run.
“He plays a lot and he plays hard. … When you play every day and you’re out there, it’s not easy. You put yourself through a lot,” Baldelli said. “To look around and say, this is a good opportunity to get him off his feet for a couple of innings — you don’t know what that’s worth at the end of the year, but you try to do that with your guys who you run out there every day and work really hard for you. “
Under normal circumstances, it would have been an unremarkable substitution. But Polanco had already doubled, homered and singled three times in his five at-bats, becoming the 24th Twins player ever to have a 5-for-5 game, and only the second, along with Kirby Puckett in 1990, to do it twice in one season. And with a chance to bat once more in the Twins’ 9-1 victory, Polanco had a shot at equaling another Puckett singularity: Collecting six hits in one game.
Puckett went 6-for-6 at Milwaukee on Aug. 30, 1987, and went 6-for-7 in an 11-ininng game with the Rangers on May 23, 1991, the lone Twins player ever to collect six hits in a game.
Did Baldelli consider allowing Polanco, who also hit for the cycle last month, to remain in the game for a chance at history?
“Those are things that we talk about and have to think about because some of the individual milestones that guys earn are very important to them and important to the organization. But you just have to balance that with what you think the right thing is,” he said. “I don’t know what the right answer is, but I think getting Polo off his feet at that point was probably more important than anything else.”
Pitcher Kohl Stewart arrived in the clubhouse Friday, and the Twins made it official during the game: Stewart will serve as the 26th man for Saturday’s doubleheader and will start the second game against Detroit.
It’s the second time this year that Stewart has been summoned for an emergency start; he lost April 24 at Houston.