If the Miguel Sano assault allegations prove true, the All-Star third baseman may miss time. Luckily, the Twins are still a good team without him.
The Minnesota Twins received news they didn’t want to hear on Thursday when Twin Cities photographer Betsy Bissen tweeted that Miguel Sano assaulted her at a 2015 autograph session. According to the Star Tribune, the alleged assault took place at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka, Minn.
Bissen accuses Sano of grabbing her wrist and attempting to pull her into a bathroom at the mall against her will. She also says that the All-Star third baseman tried to kiss her multiple times. Here’s the tweet that was put out by Bissen, who’s since made her Twitter profile private:
While it’s impossible to say whether these allegations are true or not, it definitely doesn’t bode well for the Twins. In reality, they may be at risk of losing their star player for an extended period of time.
Under baseball’s domestic violence policy, Commissioner Rob Manfred doesn’t have to make a decision based on what happens in court. Last season, catcher Derek Norris missed the final month of the regular season after his former fiancée accused him of physical and verbal abuse. This came without a court decision. Ultimately, Sano could be facing a similar suspension if Manfred handles this situation similarly.
That being said, if Minnesota indeed loses Sano for any sort of time, they still aren’t in bad shape. I mean, if last season showed us anything, it’s that this team has the ability to play well without him.
Sure, it’s not ideal, but the Twins made their playoff run with Eduardo Escobar as their starting third baseman and arguably, he performed better than the big man played all season long. That’s not to take anything away from the phenomenal year Sano had, but a testament to the finish Escobar had to his season.
Specifically, he led the team with nine home runs and 25 RBIs in the last month of the season, which are better totals than any of Sano’s months during the 2017 season. For the season, he finished with a .254 average along with 21 home runs and 73 RBIs. In all, it was a career-year for the 28-year-old and there’s no reason to believe he can’t build on that.
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Now, I’m not saying Escobar is of Sano’s caliber. Truly, Sano is the better player with arguably the highest ceiling on the team. Even so, the Twins could be in a far worse situation without their star player and given the seriousness that comes with assault allegations towards women, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they are without him.
Nevertheless, the Sano situation is going to be one to watch this offseason as the Twins would have to prioritize adding a power bat to their lineup. Escobar has some pop to his bat, but his power ceiling probably tops out around his home run total of last season. In turn, Minnesota could use a power hitter with a higher ceiling to add to the lineup, especially if Sano misses an extended period of time.
In the meantime, the Twins may have to take a wait and see approach and hope for the best in this situation. Regardless of what happens though, let’s be thankful we have someone like Escobar to rely on in a potential Sano absence.