|Miguel Sano plays third base on|
the Fourth of July.
But another reason for giving Sano the day off is his fielding. Since his return from the disabled list, Sano has been mainly a third baseman. An error-prone third baseman. Sano was charged with two errors Saturday. He was also charged with errors on Thursday and Friday. The big guy is fielding .854 at the hot corner on the season, with seven errors in just 137 innings at the position.
Errors and fielding percentage are blunt tools for gauging defense, but it doesn't require a great deal of sophisticated analysis to see a problem here.
Terry Ryan suggested Sunday that it's just a matter of Sano being rusty after a first half spent largely in right field and on the disabled list. That may be a factor, but I'm inclined to believe that he's simply not a very adept fielder at any position, including third base.
To repeat myself from previous writings: there will never be a position at which Sano is the Twins best defensive option. If they insist on playing him in the field, if only to keep his weight in check, the question is: At what position does he hurt the team least? Their offseason evaluation was right field. Now it's third base.
And I will note this: Even with all the errors, the Twins are 9-6 in Sano's starts at third base. It's only 15 games, but no real sophisticated analysis is needed to determine that that's a superior winning percentage to games in which he plays right field, designated hitter or sits.