The Twins will place the first baseman Miguel Sano on the 10-day injured list, manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters (including Betsy Helfand of The pioneer press of Saint-Paul). Sano has pain in his left knee. Seeker Jose Godoy will also be an option on Triple-A, so the Twins will see their roster drop from 28 players to 26 by tomorrow’s deadline.
Sano has missed four of Minnesota’s last five games with the injury sustained last game in the Twins’ 5-4 win over the Tigers on Tuesday. After missing three games, Sano was the starting first baseman on Saturday, but was taken out of the game in the seventh inning.
A timeline is not yet known for when Sano could return to the lineup, but the absence could serve as something of a reset to his 2022 season. Sano was icy at the plate, hitting just 0.093/0.231/0.148 in his first 65 home plate appearances. Horrific as those numbers sound, Sano was also rather uncharacteristically unlucky, with just a .121 BABIP and a .196 wOBA well below his .344 xwOBA. Sano’s xwOBA is actually above league average, and his hard contact numbers (hard hit percentage, barrel percentage) and walk rate have all been excellent.
While that indicates some hope that Sano can bounce back once he returns from IL, the Twins will be shorthanded at first base in his absence. Alex Kiriloff would normally take the turn, but Kirilloff is injured himself, currently in minor league rehab for a wrist problem. If losing Sano and Kirilloff wasn’t enough for the Twins, Kyle Garlic also left today’s game with a calf strain, so Minnesota could also have a gap to fill in the outfield depth chart.
Luis Arraez had never played first base before this season, but the utility replaced Sano this week and appears to be Minnesota’s first choice as a temporary backup. Baldelli also suggested that the third baseman Gio Urshela or receiver Gary Sanchez could get some work at first base. Urshela has played in a handful of games in that position in his career, while Sanchez has played in three games as a first baseman in his professional career (and none since 2017).