Saturday, November 7, 2015

Miguel Sano, outfielder? Please no

The word from Terry Ryan this week was that Miguel Sano is to play some winter ball this offseason, which he was prohibited from doing a year ago as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.

That's good. The bad news, or at least potentially bad, is that he's to play some outfield.

This is silliness. Nothing good is going to come of putting a 260-pounder in the outfield. Sano may indeed "run well for his size," but that means merely that he's more mobile than a block of granite. Sano is not faster than Eddie Rosario or Aaron Hicks. He has no chance of covering the ground in a corner outfield spot than they do.

And -- again -- it's not like they have to do something to get Sano's bat in the lineup. The Twins play in the American League. They have the DH. If the issue is about keeping him in shape and working on his defensive skills, they can rotate him at the corner infield spots with Trevor Plouffe and Joe Mauer.

Putting Sano in the outfield means (a) one of the young outfielders doesn't play and (b) means a weaker hitter is in the lineup to DH. It makes the lineup worse in multiple ways. And this fallacy, as it so often does, boils down to: He's too young to DH. Which is, again, silliness.

He's too good a hitter to leave out of the lineup, and he's not good enough with the glove to help afield. Those are what matters, not his age. If we're all fortunate, this notion will dry up before spring training ends, if not before.

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