Sano has gotten more comfortable as a defender at first base, LaVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribune reports. He said that he never really got comfortable moving from third base to first base occasionally during the 2019 season, but since focusing fully on the position this spring his comfort level has increased. Manager Rocco Baldelli praised Sano's engagement and work ethic with the position change. The move has to work, as there is nowhere else for Sano to go if the Twins are at full strength with Josh Donaldson getting everyday starts at third base and Nelson Cruz getting everyday starts at DH in American League parks. Sano hit .200/.286/.440 with two home runs and seven strikeouts in 28 plate appearances this spring.
Sano agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract extension with the Twins on Friday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports. Sano's extension includes a club option for the 2023 campaign, per Passan. The slugger cranked 34 home runs and registered 79 RBI over 105 matchups a season ago and will be a big part of Minnesota's lineup for the foreseeable future.
Sano is not in Saturday's lineup against the Royals. He went 2-for-4 with one home run Friday after getting an off day Thursday and he will get another day to rest up for the postseason. Luis Arraez is starting at third base and leading off.
Sano went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and two runs scored in Friday's 6-2 win over the Royals. Sano got aboard with a single in the first inning and came arounnd to score. He then crushed a two-run shot to deep left-center in the second. The third baseman is hitting .246/.344/.577 with 34 homers, 79 RBI and 75 runs scored in 104 games this year.
Sano is starting at third base and leading off Friday against the Royals. The Twins are likely just experimenting with Sano in the leadoff role after clinching the division title Wednesday. It seems unlikely that he'll remain in this spot in the batting order heading into the postseason.