Dale Sveum wants Alfonso Soriano to use a smaller bat

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Alfonso Soriano’s bat isn’t in the best shape of its life. Manager Dale Sveum thinks it needs to lose a few ounces.

“The fact of the matter is fastballs are getting too deep,” manager Dale Sveum said Sunday. “Whatever it is, it’s just a strange phenomenon right now that Edwin Maysonet has more home runs than Alfonso Soriano.”

Soriano has yet to homer this season. He’s hitting .250 with 16 RBI in 112 at-bats.

Sveum, a former hitting coach, has been working with Soriano in the hopes of adding more power to his stroke. As he told CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney:

“There’s no question I’d like to see a much lighter bat,” Sveum said. “He has adjusted a little bit, but I think a really smaller, lighter bat would help a lot.”

Soriano has always used one of the game’s heaviest bats, even though he’s far from one of the league’s biggest guys. Now 36, it probably is time for him to change it up a bit. However, pride may be getting in the way.

Miguel Sano gained weight this offseason

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Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:

Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.

They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.

Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.

Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.

So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.