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March Mania

Twins report: Sano set to begin rehab assignment

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

MINNEAPOLIS — Miguel Sano is one step closer to a return.

The Twins third baseman will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Fort Myers on Tuesday, April 30, and while a return isn’t imminent, it is inching closer.

As it stands now, the Twins plan to have Sano play in Double-A and Triple-A after his time with the Miracle, manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Baldelli said Sano would play partial games in Fort Myers, playing some third and likely serving as a designated hitter, before he eventually graduates to full games.

“He has to get to a number of at-bats, which I’m not ready to kind of put that number out there, but he has to get a sufficient number of at-bats where we feel confident that we’re not putting him at a disservice to himself or us to just bring him back here,” Baldelli said.

Sano, who spent this offseason working himself into shape, has been held back by a cut on his lower Achilles area.

The wound has now healed, but the Twins are now trying to simulate spring training for Sano, who missed all of it with the injury.

“We wanted to give him every chance to get back into the shape that he was in when he was playing in winter ball, the winter ball games he was playing in,” Baldelli said. “He looked great and he’s doing well. … He’s working exceptionally hard, and he knows this isn’t a quick turnaround and he’s going to be back here next week.”

Pressly returns

If Ryan Pressly hasn’t been the best reliever in baseball since being traded to the Astros last year, he’s been very close to it.

Pressly, who was dealt during the middle of a game last July, finished off his year in Houston with a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings. And this year, he returned to Target Field with a 0.00 ERA in 12 1/3 innings.

While Pressly said he had no idea the trade was coming, he’s settled in quite nicely in Houston, utilizing his curveball, which has a high spin rate, more since the trade.

Prior to the trade, Pressly, whom the Twins acquired as a Rule 5 selection, pitched in Minnesota from 2013-18. He posted a 3.75 ERA in 317 innings out of the bullpen for the Twins during that time period.

“I think it’s just trusting the process and going with (pitching coach Brent Strom) and (bullpen coach Josh Miller) and all of the guys here support me out in the field and the guys behind the plate, they’ve got good fingers,” Pressly said. “So everybody’s just kind of clicking right now.”

This offseason, the reliever cashed in, signing a two-year extension with the Astros worth $17.5 million to remain in Texas, his home state.

Still, Pressly was thankful for his time in Minnesota and said he keeps in touch with many of his former teammates.

“These fans, this stadium, this city, the front office, everybody over there, it’s a first-class organization,” Pressly said. “I’m very blessed for the opportunity that they gave me over there. I miss a lot of those guys over there. Over here, I’m having a good time and I’m ready to get back out there and pitch against them.”

Worth noting

Eddie Rosario entered Monday, April 29, as the American League’s home run leader with 11. Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich and the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger began Monday leading the majors with 14 each.

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