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  • It's Official: Sano to have Tommy John Surgery

    Twins fans may have gone to bed on Friday night excited to get their first glimpse of the 2014 Minnesota Twins. Saturday's noon (central time) Twins game will be televised on Fox Sports North.

    Twins fans were also holding on to a hope that uber-prospect Miguel Sano might be able to avoid Tommy John surgery. Unfortunately, that proved to be just a dream. On Saturday morning, Twins media was informed that Sano will head to Minneapolis next week and have Tommy John surgery.

    Sano is a clear top ten prospect in the game of baseball. He is regarded as the top third base prospect and the best power-hitting prospect in baseball. He hit 35 home runs in 2013 between Ft. Myers and New Britain. There was some hope that he could surface with the Twins sometime, maybe early, in the 2014 season.

    However, in just his second game in the Dominican Winter League, Sano came out of the game with a sore elbow. After seeing Twins doctors and the respected Dr. James Andrews, the decision was made for Sano to rest for two months, and then start a throwing program in January.

    Things went well until Thursday's intrasquad game. Sano made two nice plays and showed off his strong arm. However, when he had to make an off-balanced throw, the pain came back.

    The Pioneer Press's Mike Berardino posted a Tout video of an interview he conducted with Sano after learning the news. It's sad, and you can just seen the sadness and disappointment in his face.

    He is expected to miss the entire 2014 season. Recovery time from Tommy John surgery for position players is generally in the six to eight month range as opposed to the twelve (or more) months it takes a pitcher to return.

    It will be interesting to see how the Twins and Sano handle his return. Could he be some at bats in a rehab in the GCL late in the summer? He should be ready for Instructional League. Could they send him to the Arizona Fall League? There is no reason to believe that he won't be at 100% before next spring training.

    Twins fans can hope. Best wishes to Miguel Sano.
    Comments 167 Comments
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      One positive to this is it may align Sano and Buxton to come up at the same time, but this is still a huge blow. I'm sure he'll recover just fine but it delays this team's future for sure.
    1. highlander's Avatar
      highlander -
      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, does this portend a future Twins line up of Arcia and Sano battling for the DH spot.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -

      Another Mike Berardino Tout video, of Rob Antony explaining the situation.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Getting some time in the AFL would be a boon. At least his ML service clock hadn't started, if you're looking for a silver lining.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Well, it lines up Sano and Buxton to come up at the same time. His service clock hasn't started yet. He's a position player, not a pitcher, so the rehab time is 6-8 months, not 14-16 months. Also, this means that if Sano turns out as expected, the Twins get an additional prime age 27-28 season on the cheap.

      All in all, this isn't disastrous. Frustrating, definitely. Disastrous, no.

      It'd be a lot worse if this was Meyer, not Sano.
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      The Twins prospects have lost some time of late.


      Kennys Vargas is 23, he's only had 1 full minor league season due to injuries/suspensions.
      Eddie Rosario is out 50g this year (so will only have half a season).
      And then Sano.

      Can anyone benefit from Sano's spot being open at New Britian?

      Trying to find a positive here...

      Could Travis Harrison move up more quickly? Maybe do a A/A+ to A+/AA this year?

      I wish this surgery has been scheduled sooner, but they did consult James Andrews, so I can't (or we) shouldn't plant this one on the Twins medical staff, as you're not going to get better advice than that.

      Definitely disappointing...though, a few reports said that the reason Sano had such a 'tough' 2nd half at New Britian last year was because of the elbow injury was already bothering him there. So that .236 average and higher K rate (still not alarming, he also increased his BB rate) could also be alleviated with this surgery - of which many of us were expecting him to 'work out' through playing.

      Which...really is the only thing keeping Sano from being the Twins every day 3B...

      If the elbow was healthy and he somehow hit .310 there last year, he's the opening day Twins 3B this year.

      So hoping this surgery will do for him what we hoped a few ABs would do for him.
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      Phooey. This felt inevitable. Too bad it wasn't just a little more apparent to the docs last fall.
      This has to be so frustrating for a ball player on the verge.
      Can't wait 'til he's back!
    1. kblack1011's Avatar
      kblack1011 -
      Has rest and throwing program ever worked? It just seems to delay the surgery.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Hope he gets well soon. I know it is frustrating to him, but I hope he (and the Twins) see this as a Sabbatical and have him work on his weaknesses, like positioning and footwork and glovework in EST and in the Miracle/GCL squad practices. He can even work on bunting and base-running and conditioning. The only thing he cannot do right away is throw and take full force cuts with the bat. Might actually be a blessing in disguise.

      Pretty certain that he cannot play in the AWL per agreement with the MLB. Not sure how Rosario got to do that last season, but unlike Sano, he is Puerto Rican. So likely DWL will be the first game situation for him
    1. Dance with Disco Dan's Avatar
      Dance with Disco Dan -

      I hope the surgery goes well and that this is just a momentary set back. The man is clearly a talent and I don't expect this to impact his hitting ability. I must admit, though, I am having a hard time thinking of many position-player TJ cases.

      I hope Miguel keeps his spirits high (and his weight low) as he rehabs.
    1. drock2190's Avatar
      drock2190 -
      I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't see Sano in the major leagues till 2016.

      He will need time to recover. He still has to improve his fielding to be an adequate at the hot corner. Plus his batting average needs to be at least .250+ to warrant a promotion imo.
    1. raindog's Avatar
      raindog -
      Pretty depressing.

      Oh well. He'll be fine. I was just really looking forward to watching him play. Another brutal 90 loss season on the way.

      And seriously, someone find one example of a player resting and healing after UCL tearing.
    1. crarko's Avatar
      crarko -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dance with Disco Dan View Post
      I must admit, though, I am having a hard time thinking of many position-player TJ cases.
      Paul Molitor. At least he will be able to counsel Miguel during his rehab.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      All the best to him.

      And I hope that this gives him a mental break as well as a physical one. One of the things his agent noted yesterday was that he hadn't "had any time off since he was 15" and that the injury may have been due (at least in part) to the stress placed on his arm in his youth.

      If he hasn't had a physical break, he probably hasn't had a mental break either so a few weeks away from baseball might be a good thing before he gears up again to work on the things that Thrylos mentioned.

      Is this what he or the Twins or any of us would have wanted to happen? Of course not. But now that it has happened, they need to make the best of it.
    1. raindog's Avatar
      raindog -
      I suppose that is a silver lining. I'm sure the rehab is pretty grueling though.
    1. UCLA_YANKEE_COLA's Avatar
      This stings. His debut was going to be a real highlight of (what is likely) another down season. Not a total disaster, he's young and it probably doesn't really matter in the long run. But it still really makes me want to break the swear word rule on TD. Darn flipping crappy news.
    1. shs_59's Avatar
      shs_59 -
      Well then that settles it, THAT WAS QUICK!

      I'm still looking forward to Twins baseball today! I will get to see the game on TV while its snowing out here!

      As for Mr. Sano keep ur head up and do you're due diligence and you'll be fine! Here's to hoping the best for the young man, and a good future outcome. If its 10 months from now he's back and ready or even 12 months, the timing will be perfect for next year and probably at AA New Britian after EXT.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by kblack1011 View Post
      Has rest and throwing program ever worked? It just seems to delay the surgery.
      *Alex Meyer waves frantically from Ft Myers, yelling "me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me!"*
    1. Since71's Avatar
      Since71 -
      Not blaming this at all on the Twins Med staff/trainers but doesn't it seem like the Twins have had an unusually high number of TJ surgeries? Maybe all teams do and I just don't follow them close enough to know but it just seems to be one after another lately. Oh and totally agree with Kblack's comment...rest never seems to work.
    1. Since71's Avatar
      Since71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      *Alex Meyer waves frantically from Ft Myers, yelling "me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me!"*
      Wasn't that a shoulder injury? kind of apples and oranges
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