ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Twins manager Paul Molitor actually waited to fill out his lineup card Tuesday in case Miguel Sano recovered quickly enough to start.
While Sano’s sore right ankle is improved, he wasn’t ready for prime time just yet. But he ran in the outfield, hit in the batting cage and took a little live batting practice. So the Twins are more convinced Sano will not be out for long and will not need a trip to the disabled list.
“The good news is that there has been a lot of improvement over the last 48 hours,” Molitor said.
The only problems flared up in batting practice. Turning on the ankle led to some discomfort. That will have to be worked out if he is to return to the designated hitter spot.
“I’m going to give him an opportunity to let his young body heal,” Molitor said. “Sometimes 24 hours can make a big difference. So we’ll see how he is [Wednesday].”
Sano said his ankle felt better and that there was just a little bit of soreness left. He already knows what he wants to happen.
“I want to play [Wednesday],” he said.
Sano injured his ankle Saturday when he stepped on a baseball while working on fielding drills. He played in the game that night, but the ankle worsened, knocking him out of Sunday’s game. He has been a force in the lineup since being called up July 2, batting .326 with two homers and nine RBI in 13 games with an on-base percentage of .434.
For the second consecutive year, the Twins are eligible to receive a pick in the competitive balance draft.
The lottery for the competitive balance portion of the 2016 draft will be held Wednesday in New York. There are six picks in Round A, which takes place following the first round of the annual June draft, and six more in Round B, following the second round.
The draft is reserved for the 10 smallest markets and the 10 teams with the lowest revenue. There are 12 teams that have qualified that way.
That’s not why the Twins have qualified for the draft, though.
Any other clubs that receive revenue sharing are eligible to receive a competitive balance pick. The Twins, Orioles and Mariners are in that category.
Twins President Dave St. Peter confirmed that the club has received revenue sharing the past two years. But he noted that over time, the years they receive revenue sharing would be canceled out by the years they paid into revenue sharing. The past few years of 90-plus losses has put them in position to be a receiver.
“We didn’t expect to be a revenue-sharing payer every year,” St. Peter said.
Here are the matchups for this weekend’s series against the Yankees at Target Field.
On Friday, righthander Phil Hughes will start opposite righthander Michael Pineda. On Saturday, lefthander Tommy Milone will try to shake off his rough start Sunday in Oakland as he faces struggling lefthander CC Sabathia. Righthander Kyle Gibson will face righthander Nathan Eovaldi on Sunday.
• Outfielder Byron Buxton will return to the Twin Cities on Wednesday from his home in Georgia, where he attended a funeral for a family member. Buxton has been out since June 24 because of a sprained left thumb. He will have the thumb examined and a decision could be made on if he can begin baseball-related activities.