FORT MYERS, Fla. – A spilled drink, a crowd of jubilant people and metal stairs. Those are the culprits that are depriving the Twins of their starting third baseman for at least a week, Miguel Sano explained Wednesday morning.
There are a dozen stitches in Sano's right heel, and protecting those, and the unusual horizontal laceration they are closing, will have Sano wearing a protective boot, rather than taking part in spring training drills, for seven to 10 days. Some reports suggested the injury occurred on the diamond, but Sano clarified the circumstances Wednesday.
Sano suffered the cut on the stairs leading to a stage in San Pedro de Macoris, near Sano's Dominican Republic home, he said. Sano joined his hometown team, Estrellas Orientales, for the Dominican Winter League playoffs, batting .222 (10-for-45) with one home run and two doubles in 12 games, and he helped Estrellas win the league championship for the first time in 51 years.
Three days later, on Jan. 26, the city staged a "Cavalcade of Champions" through the town to celebrate, with the parade ending at a large stage near the city center. "The entire town came out. [At the stage], the president of the team called every player up, one by one, to say thank you for the support," Sano explained through an interpreter. "Someone dropped liquid on the stage, someone else slipped, that person pushed me, I slipped down the starts and I caught my [heel] on them."
The impact opened a significant cut just above Sano's heel, but he didn't realize it at first. "I didn't even feel at it at the beginning, there was so much going on, so many people around me," Sano said. "Then my wife noticed" that he was bleeding.
A doctor sewed up the cut with 12 stitches, but because the cut is horizontal, it's prone to pull apart as he walks. That's why the Twins put him in a boot when he arrived in camp on Sunday.
"Right now, I feel like it's healing, it's closing," Sano said, though he probably won't take part in any daily baseball drills for at least another week.