The Twins placed All-Star third baseman Miguel Sano on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday, because of a left hamstring strain.
It’s not clear, however, if the burly slugger will be ready to return to the lineup May 8, the first day he’s eligible to come off the DL.
Twins manager Paul Molitor expressed some hope of that Tuesday.
“I’m optimistic about that because of the further testing that we did [Tuesday] that diagnosed it as a Level 1 strain,” Molitor said. “I think there is some encouragement there.”
A Grade 1 strain is considered minor, something that can heal in a few days. But Molitor also had to consider the subject. Sano reported to spring training at 293 pounds and missed most of the final weeks of last season because of a stress reaction in his left shin that required offseason surgery.
“Obviously you’re dealing with a little bit different hamstring than most people have,” Molitor said. “We’ll have to see how it goes. We just haven’t seen a lot of progress here in the first three, four days. So that tempers the optimism somewhat.”
Sano, batting .213 with five home runs and 14 RBI, was replaced on the roster by infielder Gregorio Petit, who was called up from Class AAA Rochester. Petit hit .293 with six RBI in 17 games for the Red Wings. He appeared in 89 games with the Angels in 2016, batting .245.
“We know him well from spring training,” Molitor said. “He’s been around. He knows what professionalism is all about.”
To make room for Petit on the 40-man roster, lefthander Dietrich Enns was designated for assignment. He was 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA at Rochester.
Romero is ready
Confidence has never been a challenge for 23-year-old righthander Fernando Romero, who was asked if there were times recently when he thought he was ready for a shot at the major leagues.
“I’ve been feeling that before,” he said, “but just waiting for the chance. So thank God for the Minnesota Twins [for] the opportunity. I ain’t got no time to waste it, being honest.”
Romero, one of the top pitching prospects in the organization, arrived in the Twin Cities on Tuesday and reacquainted himself with many players he spent spring training with before being sent to the minors March 13. He threw eighth scoreless innings in spring games, striking out eight. He was 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in four games (three starts) for Rochester before the promotion.
He throws a fastball, slider and changeup. His fastball registers as high as 97 miles per hour.
Now he’s about to find out if he’s major-league ready.
“I’ll be ready to face them,” he said. “I got no excuse. Let’s get it done.”
With Sano sidelined, Molitor has been pressed to keep Brian Dozier’s bat in the lineup. But Molitor decided his second baseman needed rest — he’s hitting only .248 — and kept him out of the lineup Tuesday, starting Petit in his place.
“I just think he’s ready to take a little bit of a break,” Molitor said. “He’s been trying to grind through it, day in and day out.”
• The Twins returned Rule 5 pick Tyler Kinley to the Marlins. Kinley pitched in four games for the Twins, giving up nine runs in 3⅓ innings.
• Righthander David Hale, cut loose by the Twins this week, was re-signed to a minor league contract by the Yankees. The Twins signed Hale after the Yankees put him on waivers last week.
• Catcher Jason Castro sat for a second game because he has been bothered by a sprained knee. Molitor hopes to have him in the lineup Wednesday.