The arrival of
Sano can celebrate his 22nd birthday Monday after having struggled mightily for quite some time at Double-A. He owned a batting average of .163 on May 6, but is since 7-for-15 in four games with one homer and five RBI. He has just one strikeout during that stretch after fanning a whopping 28 times in the previous 23 games.
Ryan is expected to remain in Birmingham for a few more days.
Sano, who sat out last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, is batting just .159 with 22 strikeouts in 18 games. Before Thursday's game against Jacksonville, he spent extra time with Lookouts hitting coach Chad Allen working on his approach.
"Early in the year, he's really tried to do too much," Allen said, per MLB.com. "He's got a lot of strength and everybody that faces him knows he's a strong man and can hit the ball a long way. At the same time, he himself is trying to do too much.
"We hit early today and just really tried to slow him down and let the ball come to him. Let him understand he doesn't have to exert himself just to hit the ball hard."
Allen was encouraged with Sano's approach Thursday, especially when he hit his home run.
"Tonight was a great judgment on what he was thinking, that he wasn't trying to do too much," Allen said. "He took an 80-percent swing with two strikes on a fastball in and hit a home run. It's just a matter of him relaxing, calming down a bit and letting the game come to him."
Sano is considered a top-20 prospect by MLB.com (No. 11) and Baseball America (No. 13).
"(Twins manager Paul Molitor) told me I'm going to start in Double-A," Sano said. "I'm fine. I'm OK. I'll go to the other side for work. I'll have the same plan I had over here. I'm feeling normal and happy. I want to have a good season. I'm really excited to go to the other side. Everything is good."
Sano thinks he will only be in the minors for a few weeks.
"Probably one month," Sano said. "A couple weeks. I don't know. I'll play the same."
"It's exciting," Sano said. "I feel pretty good. I feel healthy. Nothing has been bothering me. I've been throwing 100 percent every time."
Manager Paul Molitor is keeping a close eye on Sano's progress this spring.
"I was monitoring how he was doing on the drills, and he didn't have any issues with that elbow," Molitor said. "I thought it was a good day, playing the Gophers, to get some of our young guys the chance to play. And I know people want to see him play, so it's a good thing."
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2013||AA-New Britain Rock Cat||67||233||35||55||15||3||19||55||36||81||2||1||.344||.571||.236|
|2013||AFA-Fort Myers Miracle||56||206||51||68||15||2||16||48||29||61||9||2||.424||.655||.330|
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