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March Mania

Twins’ Miguel Sano starts baseball activities

Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) looks on in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field on March 31. David Berding / USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA — Twins manager Rocco Baldelli isn’t yet ready to put a date on when Miguel Sano might be sent out on a rehab assignment, but the update on the 25-year-old third baseman Sunday morning, April 7, was positive.

Sano, who suffered a cut on his lower-right Achilles area this offseason, is rehabbing back in Minnesota as the Twins are on their three-city road swing. He has started doing baseball activities and is doing well, Baldelli said.

“He’s kind of beyond the conditioning point,” Baldelli said. “He’s throwing, he’s fielding ground balls, he’s taking swings.”

Baldelli also had positive updates on pitchers Matt Magill and Gabriel Moya, both of whom are dealing with shoulder tendinitis and rehabbing in Fort Myers. The two are throwing bullpen sessions, and Baldelli said they are looking to put together a plan for them to go out on rehab assignments as things move forward. Since both of them had their spring activity cut short, nothing is imminent with either.

“They are still going to have to go through spring training,” Baldelli said. “…No one is just going to be activated. They are going to have to work their way back, make multiple appearances, probably some back-to-back appearances. And with days off in between all those appearances generally.”

Addison Reed, who is dealing with a left thumb injury, is still in Fort Myers, and Baldelli said in addition to his thumb, he is working on his conditioning and “getting his body in shape — and quality shape too.”

As for Stephen Gonsalves, the Twins’ No. 11 prospect per MLBPipeline, he, too, is in Fort Myers for the near future. Gonsalves is dealing with a forearm strain, Baldelli said.

No. 10 prospect Nick Gordon, who is also on the Triple-A injured list, is dealing with gastrointestinal issues and should start to get back into baseball activity soon.

Kepler's homer streak

Max Kepler got the Twins going on Sunday, slugging his third home run in as many games.The home run was the first leadoff home run of his career.

hough Kepler was an unconventional choice as a leadoff hitter, Baldelli is happy with what he’s seen so far.

“We’re not trying to turn Max Kepler into Juan Pierre or anything like that,” Baldelli said. “That’s not part of what we’re doing here. He’s going out and trying to hit the ball hard. He’s trying to hit the ball on the barrel. He’s going to swing at good pitches that he deems worthy of him attacking the ball.”

Twins face Mets' aces

The Twins were on track to miss one of the Mets’ two pitching aces when they get to Citi Field next week.

Not anymore.

With the Mets off on Monday, they decided to skip fifth starter Jason Vargas in the rotation, meaning the Twins will see reigning National League Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom on Tuesday and Noah Syndergaard on Wednesday. Minnesota will counter with Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi.