Twins call up Sano after long stint in minors

Published 2:48 pm Sunday, July 29, 2018

BOSTON — Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano understands why he was sent down to the minors — to get into shape.

The 25-year-old Sano is glad he’s back and the team hopes it brings a spark after a pair of trades sent away infielder Eduardo Escobar and reliever Ryan Pressly a day earlier.

“This is my future. It was on the line. I understand what they did,” he said through a translator, standing at his locker a few hours before the Twins faced the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

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“It wasn’t negative. It was something positive now that I look back at it,” he said. “It helped me realize the steps I needed to do to be back here.”

The Twins recalled Sano and left-hander Gabriel Moya on Saturday from Triple-A Rochester, adjusting after trades Friday night.

“I think we had to think about the big picture, where we were and the path moving forward,” Twins vice president Derek Falvey said of the moves. “I think we expect a lot of Miguel and he’s someone that can really impact us.”

Sano has been in the minor leagues for more than six weeks. He was sent down to work on his conditioning. After missing a month because of a hamstring injury earlier in the season, Sano struggled at the plate upon his return.

For the Twins this year, he’s batting .203 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs in 37 games.

Sano was an All-Star last year and finished with 28 home runs as the Twins reached the AL wild-card game. They were 48-54 going into Saturday night’s game.

Sano was on the field about 4½ hours before the scheduled start, running. He stopped to chat with Red Sox left-handers David Price and Eduardo Rodriguez in the outfield.

“It’s beautiful. It’s exciting to be back with the team,” Sano said. “I’m excited and looking forward to getting out there today.”

Escobar moved to third base in Sano’s absence and was one of the team’s most productive players. He was dealt to Arizona on Friday, when Pressly was also traded to Houston.

“These guys are professionals and understand the reality of the situation,” Falvey said. “Yesterday, obviously, wasn’t what we wanted at the beginning of the season. It felt like it was the right opportunity at the right time for what we got back.”

The 29-year-old Escobar hit .274 with 15 homers and 37 doubles for Minnesota.

This is Moya’s third stint with Minnesota this season.