Uncertainty Continues To Follow Sano
Image courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsLast week, Miguel Sano spent four hours being interviewed by investigators from Major League Baseball. This comes two months after Sano was accused of unwanted advances by photographer Betsy Bissen. The incident in question allegedly occurred after an autograph signing back in 2015. Sano has denied the allegations from the beginning and there’s still little known about when MLB will make any final decision about a possible punishment for Sano.
Many believe Sano’s interview was the final step in the investigation process. This may indicate that the commissioner’s office is ready to make a decision in the coming days. The two-year-old policy covers domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Previous punishments under this policy have included suspension, fines and/or sensitivity training. However, police reports have usually been included in those previous cases.
For example, Yankees closer Arolids Chapman was suspended 30 games in 2016 after he allegedly choked his girlfriend and fired eight shots in the garage of his home. He was never prosecuted because there were conflicting accounts of the events and not enough evidence.
Other questions have also followed Sano this off-season. He had a roughly 18-inch titanium rod placed in his left-leg back in the middle of November. This meant there was part of the off-season where he was immobilized and this could have led him to packing on a few more pounds than the team wanted to see from their budding slugger.
Sano’s play on the field so far this spring has continued the trend of uncertainty. He’s started two games at third base but he has yet to record a hit. He is 0-for-8 with 3 Ks including a pair of three-pitch strikeouts on Sunday afternoon.
On the defensive side of the ball, there have been limited chances for Sano. In his first play at third base, he was slow to field a chopper and then missed a throw to Joe Mauer. The play was ruled an infield hit. Later in that first game, he had to charge a ball and make a barehanded play. In Sunday’s game, his only defensive opportunity came on a pop-out to third.
It's hard to read a lot into two spring training starts for Sano. He’s working his way back from injury and there is still a month for him to get his bat back into shape for the 2018 season.
With that being said, uncertainty continues to follow Sano. The organization and Sano have no idea when Commissioner Rob Manfred will make the final ruling in his assault case. Until that time, Sano is going to continue to try to figure things out on the field.
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