Sano has had a love-hate relationship with the Minnesota fans since coming on the scene in 2015, but I don’t believe that it’s because he is a bad player. Home runs are what are keeping the 6’4, 276 pound slugger in the line up, but nothing more than that. He has never been a consistent player whether on the line up or on the field. 2019 was one of Sano’s best years and he swung on a full 34 home runs as a beloved member of the “Bomba Squad”. Sano, for whatever reason, has continually been looked over by either the management or the ownership and it shows everytime he comes up to the plate.
With hot streaks at the plate and streaks of looking lost, last year in 2020, Sano had a season high strike out of 90. Now that can be attributed to the shortened season and no spring training, but last year we really saw Sano struggling. His OPS reached .757 over all in 2020 and .923 the year before. It seems like the management either wasn’t willing to put in the time with him, or they were just good for the minimal hits they were getting, the RBI’s that seemed to really pull the team together.
So why is the management overlooking Sano and his abilities? This season out of our 52 games, we have gone 16-21 with Sano in the line up and only 5-10 with him out. Which means we are losing more without him than we are with him. He is not the problem, as much as the fans probably see him as one, or the management is portraying him to look like one. So what will it take for the management to give Sano a legit chance?
Sano doesn’t get as many games to play as others. In a post game interview Badelli stated that Sano would love to get all the at bat(s) but Willians is giving the team a little more of what they want and that Sano just wants what is best for the team. He also said that Sano is indeed getting help before the games and on the side. That tells me that they are just doing enough to honor his contract and not truly give him the help he needs to be successful. Sano does suffer from occasional injuries, but so do other players that seem to make the line up consistently.
To say that Sano is overlooked is an understatement. We don’t know why the Twins organization seems to hold a grudge for Sano, but it’s evident that if they were to put in the effort to help him or baby him like they do other players such as Donaldson, Kepler or Willians, maybe we would see him be successful. He has the capability to be more than what we see at the plate, and he is great at first base, and worth the money that we are paying him, if the management would just give him the chance to be more than a part time player.