On Tuesday night, Twins prospect Miguel Sano showboated after hitting a home run. As Patrick Reusse describes it, Sano “stood at the plate for a few seconds, walked out of the box, flipping the bat, and then slow-strutted around the bases.” Jeff Smith, manager of the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats, benched Sano for the ensuing game. It was thought that one game was the extent of the punishment, but Sano was again absent from tonight’s lineup, marking the fourth consecutive game his manager has held him out.
Reusse provides some back story on Sano’s showmanship:
Sano was promoted from Class A Fort Myers to New Britain on June 9 and joined the lineup on June 12. [Bobby] Lanigan was released from New Britain on June 25. During that two-week period, Sano and Lanigan had a loud confrontation as the Rock Cats were on a road trip.
The identity of the pitcher had much to do with the extra juice Sano put into Tuesday’s home run reaction. When confronted over this by Smith, notorious in the Twins’ system as a hard-nosed manager, Sano basically told Smith that he would do what he chose after hitting home runs.
Sano has continued his meteoric rise to stardom after his promotion to Double-A. In 144 plate appearances with New Britain, Sano has hit 10 home runs. Combined with his previous work at Single-A Fort Myers, he now has 26 home runs on the season, putting him two shy of last year’s total. Reusse suggests there is a chance Sano opens up the 2014 season as the Twins’ starting third baseman, batting cleanup.