Saturday, July 2, 2016

Sano, Park and Plouffe

Miguel Sano was reactivated Friday after missing the entire month of June with his pulled hamstring. Byung Ho Park was optioned out to make room for Sano.

No surprise there. Park's numbers were sinking fast. He hit .136 in June and had three times as many strikeouts as hits.

The truly noteworthy news from Sano's return was Paul Molitor's declaration that Sano was going to DH and play third base. Outfield? Only in an emergency, said the manager. This more or less echoed what Terry Ryan said almost two weeks ago in a radio interview.

And on Friday night, Sano played third and Trevor Plouffe was the designated hitter. Sano made a sparking bare-handed grab-and-throw on a nubber, and got lost on a popup that shortstop Eduardo Nunez grabbed.

It's fairly awkward. Plouffe is the more reliable defender at third, but as the song says, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Sano is going to be the third baseman sooner or later, and probably sooner. 

Rayns has promised trades this month, and I expect Plouffe will be one of those departing. I doubt there will be a significant return; the advantage for the Twins would be opening third base for Sano -- and reopening DH for somebody else. Like Park, assuming he figures something out in Triple A.

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