FORT MYERS, Fla. – Miguel Sano will report to Twins training camp Sunday with the rest of the position players while still being investigated by Major League Baseball for an alleged assault.
“His intention is to report on reporting day,” Twins General Manager Thad Levine.
Pitchers and catchers officially reported Tuesday, and some position players also arrived in Fort Myers for workouts. But Sano currently is in the Dominican Republic, rehabbing from offseason surgery on his lower left leg and hitting with former major leaguer Fernando Tatis.
“He spent the lion’s share of the offseason here, doing all of the stuff he needed to do from a rehab standpoint,” Levine said. “He returned to the Dominican to get — whatever it’s going to turn out to be — seven to 10 days working with Tatis on the program that he felt helped him come here and get off to a good start with [hitting coaches] James Rowson and Rudy Hernandez.”
Sano will arrive at camp surrounded by questions. The Twins continue to wait for MLB to compete its investigation based on a Twitter post in December by a freelance photographer who had worked at Twins games. The photographer, Betsy Bissen, wrote Sano assaulted her and attempted to pull her into a bathroom at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka late in the 2015 season after Sano made an autograph appearance. Sano’s agency released a statement where he denied the accusation.
There is no timetable for the league to decide if Sano should be disciplined.
Sano also has to prove he’s healthy following surgery. He was diagnosed with a stress reaction in his left tibia in August and was unable to return to the field. When the injury didn’t heal properly, a rod was placed inside the tibia to help with the healing.
Levine said Sano has recently been cleared to resume baseball activities. What the club will find out this weekend how much progress Sano has made in his recovery, and also how well conditioned he is. Sano, who is 6-foot-4, weighed 290 pounds when diagnosed with the stress reaction.
“It’s probably about where it was supposed to be,” Levine said. “And that’s why we were always cautious about saying he’d be ready to go more Opening Day than the opening of spring camp. Now, we hope he gets into shape in a timely fashion here, but he’s progressing about what one would expect considering he had to be off his leg for quite some time.
“And to be fair, he’s got a generous carriage.”