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  • It's Official: Sano to have Tommy John Surgery

    Twins fans may have gone to bed on Friday night excited to get their first glimpse of the 2014 Minnesota Twins. Saturday's noon (central time) Twins game will be televised on Fox Sports North.

    Twins fans were also holding on to a hope that uber-prospect Miguel Sano might be able to avoid Tommy John surgery. Unfortunately, that proved to be just a dream. On Saturday morning, Twins media was informed that Sano will head to Minneapolis next week and have Tommy John surgery.

    Sano is a clear top ten prospect in the game of baseball. He is regarded as the top third base prospect and the best power-hitting prospect in baseball. He hit 35 home runs in 2013 between Ft. Myers and New Britain. There was some hope that he could surface with the Twins sometime, maybe early, in the 2014 season.

    However, in just his second game in the Dominican Winter League, Sano came out of the game with a sore elbow. After seeing Twins doctors and the respected Dr. James Andrews, the decision was made for Sano to rest for two months, and then start a throwing program in January.

    Things went well until Thursday's intrasquad game. Sano made two nice plays and showed off his strong arm. However, when he had to make an off-balanced throw, the pain came back.

    The Pioneer Press's Mike Berardino posted a Tout video of an interview he conducted with Sano after learning the news. It's sad, and you can just seen the sadness and disappointment in his face.

    He is expected to miss the entire 2014 season. Recovery time from Tommy John surgery for position players is generally in the six to eight month range as opposed to the twelve (or more) months it takes a pitcher to return.

    It will be interesting to see how the Twins and Sano handle his return. Could he be some at bats in a rehab in the GCL late in the summer? He should be ready for Instructional League. Could they send him to the Arizona Fall League? There is no reason to believe that he won't be at 100% before next spring training.

    Twins fans can hope. Best wishes to Miguel Sano.
    Comments 167 Comments
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by raindog View Post
      That's a shoulder injury. Surgeries are very invasive and to avoided when possible when it comes to that.

      edit: Not that TJ isn't invasive, but they have that down to a science nowadays.
      I think shoulder surgery has advanced as fast as TJ, just less openly. I think of two recent cases: Jesse Crain and Sam Deduno, who both had rotator cuff and labrum surgery in September and were back pitching at full speed the following spring.
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      Tommy John Surgeries by team and by year.

      The Twins have actually had it 'pretty good' compared to say, Atlanta, etc.

      Although, the caliber of the players it hits might have to do with it being more 'memorable' for some teams.

      http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/201...-complete-list
    1. tcarlic's Avatar
      tcarlic -
      What pisses me off and saddens me about this situation is that if they knew it was partially torn in October (and rest RARELY working) why not have him have surgery then with the possibility of being back in July and definitely August and September? Antony sounds like an idiot in that interview on MLB.com. Eight months would not have lost him the 2014 season! Waiting until March does lose his season! ******* idiots! I know people complain about the coaching staff, but the medical staff needs to go IMO. They are hands-down the worst in the league. Enough is enough.

      /rant
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      It's nice to know some players had it and came back still able to throw heat.

      Strasburg, Nathan, Wainwright, Billy Wagner, etc.

      Not too worried about it affecting Sano's hitting...just about the arm getting back to '80' grade.

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/5...y-john-surgery


      Jose Canseco, had a 40 HR season after the surgery.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by tcarlic View Post
      What pisses me off and saddens me about this situation is that if they knew it was partially torn in October (and rest RARELY working) why not have him have surgery then with the possibility of being back in July and definitely August and September? Antony sounds like an idiot in that interview on MLB.com. Eight months would not have lost him the 2014 season! Waiting until March does lose his season! ******* idiots! I know people complain about the coaching staff, but the medical staff needs to go IMO. They are hands-down the worst in the league. Enough is enough.

      /rant
      Sano was recommended rest and rehab by the most respected TJS doctor on the planet, not Twins doctors.
    1. Nate Haseman's Avatar
      Nate Haseman -
      I'm concerned about all these prospects starting their service time at the same time. Doesn't that mean they all reach the end of their contract at the same time?
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Sano was recommended rest and rehab by the most respected TJS doctor on the planet, not Twins doctors.
      This. If he had been a pitcher, the recommendation might have been different. But even Dr. James Andrews recommends trying rest and rehab first for a lot of pitchers. And he makes his living on surgery.

      I understand the frustration, and I have expressed it in cases like Liriano, Neshek, Gibson and Wimmers. But I can't argue with this one.
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      This is an example of why I think it's best to try and build a competitive team every year instead of throwing seasons and hoping things work out in the future just because you have some farm talent. Now that Sano and Rasario have had set backs will 2017 be the new year the Twins shoot for relevancy?
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by troyhobbs View Post
      This is an example of why I think it's best to try and build a competitive team every year instead of throwing seasons and hoping things work out in the future just because you have some farm talent. Now that Sano and Rasario have had set backs will 2017 be the new year the Twins shoot for relevancy?
      Couldn't agree more. . IMO the proper way to construct a MLB team is to focus on MLB talent and then make room for minor leaguers when they force the issue, rather than the other way around.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      This. If he had been a pitcher, the recommendation might have been different. But even Dr. James Andrews recommends trying rest and rehab first for a lot of pitchers. And he makes his living on surgery.

      I understand the frustration, and I have expressed it in cases like Liriano, Neshek, Gibson and Wimmers. But I can't argue with this one.
      Yep. We've all had our hair-tearing and teeth-gnashing moments in regards to the Twins medical staff but at the end of the day, none of us are surgeons, none of us have seen the players' MRIs/charts, and none of us were in the room when the decision was made.

      So we should probably just stick to things we do know and leave the doctor stuff to the doctors.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      So we should probably just stick to things we do know and leave the doctor stuff to the doctors.
      What fun is that?
    1. Raven's Avatar
      Raven -
      At least this happened while he was still a "prospect". This recovery and rehab will be a real test of Sano's mental toughness along with his physical abilities. Because he hasn't hit the majors yet the Twins shouldn't be tempted to rush the rehab.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      This. If he had been a pitcher, the recommendation might have been different. But even Dr. James Andrews recommends trying rest and rehab first for a lot of pitchers. And he makes his living on surgery.

      I understand the frustration, and I have expressed it in cases like Liriano, Neshek, Gibson and Wimmers. But I can't argue with this one.
      Agreed... and yet there are examples (Adrian Salcedo...probably others) where avoiding surgery worked... those examples are just few and far between. Last year, when they had JT Chargois rehab all season and then he had TJ Surgery in August or September, that bugs me. But, it is different for position players.

      And again, I'll trust Dr. Andrews on this more than anyone.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      TJS is pretty common among players nowadays. I remember KC had a rash of surgeries a couple years back.

      Most teams go through this, it just seems particularly frustrating for the Twins because they've been hit with some of their best players and prospects going down in recent years (Liriano, Baker, Gibson, now Sano).

      It stings a lot more when your good players go down... Not so much the Alex Wimmers of the world.
      I seem to remember reading somewhere that Tampa Bay has consistently defied the odds on this one...

      Edit: posted after I saw the article on this. It's the whitesox.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      What fun is that?
      Heh, sometimes it's no fun at all.

      But hey, it's the internet, where everyone is knowledgeable about everything but a master of nothing. Why stick to things in your wheelhouse when Wikipedia has all one needs to know about everything?
    1. sandbun's Avatar
      sandbun -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Yep. We've all had our hair-tearing and teeth-gnashing moments in regards to the Twins medical staff but at the end of the day, none of us are surgeons, none of us have seen the players' MRIs/charts, and none of us were in the room when the decision was made.

      So we should probably just stick to things we do know and leave the doctor stuff to the doctors.
      While I agree in this specific case it seems like they handled this reasonably and in the end we were just unlucky, being wrong over and over again does open you up to criticism, even if the people criticizing aren't doctors.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by sandbun View Post
      While I agree in this specific case it seems like they handled this reasonably and in the end we were just unlucky, being wrong over and over again does open you up to criticism, even if the people criticizing aren't doctors.
      Sure, it opens you up to criticism but that has no bearing on whether the criticism is legitimate.

      And I simply don't know whether it's legitimate... and neither does anyone else here.
    1. alskntwnsfn's Avatar
      alskntwnsfn -
      The Twins knew there were problems with his elbow last year. This is another example of poor mgmt on the Twins part. Even if the doc says he doesn't "require" TJ surgery because he only has a partial tear, the only reasonable answer the Twins front office should have given is "well we are counting on him being our 3B for the next 8 years, so let's get this taken care of this winter before we really need him." There is no excuse for this situation. My bigger concern is that this could derail his development, both at the plate and in the field. It's not easy to stop hitting for 8 months then pick right up where you left off. Plus there's the weight thing he'll have to attend to.

      This isn't a surprise. Both the surgery or the way the Twins handled it.

      This team doesn't think far enough ahead and it doesn't analyze situations or players with much depth. Thank god for our scouting and minor league pitching/hitting coaches or we'd really be in trouble. IMO, the former deficiencies will prevent this team from bringing home a World Series Championship in the next 10 years, even though we have a stacked farm system that will get even better after this year's draft. How's that for spring optimism?
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      I seem to remember reading somewhere that Tampa Bay has consistently defied the odds on this one...
      According to the link posted earlier, Tampa has the same number of TJS as the Twins in recent yeas.

      But we're dealing with such small numbers and so many variables that I don't know whether that means anything.

      http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/201...-complete-list
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