Twins' Sano takes swings, playoffs still a possibility

CLEVELAND -- Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano took 60 swings on Wednesday, a positive step as he tries to recover in time for the postseason.

Sano has been on the disabled list since Aug. 20 with a stress reaction in his left shin. He's not traveling with the team and worked out back in Minnesota.

Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said Sano's status for the playoffs remains uncertain, but "wouldn't rule out" placing him on the AL wild-card game roster, even if he was limited to pinch-hitting duties. Minnesota entered its game at Cleveland with a magic number of one to clinch its first playoff spot since 2010.

"Putting a date or a timetable on this injury is tough, but this was step one," Falvey said inside the Twins' clubhouse at Progressive Field. "Miguel is in a better spot now, and we're taking it day by day. We want to get him to a place that's comfortable for him to play."

Sano is batting .267 with 28 homers, 77 RBIs and a team-high 170 strikeouts in 111 games. The first-time All-Star fouled a ball off his left shin on Aug. 18 against Arizona and played the next day before being placed on the 10-day DL.

Falvey said Sano was recently examined by orthopedic specialists in New York and North Carolina. They confirmed the diagnosis of a stress reaction and concurred with the Twins' rehabilitation plan.

"A lot of times with a young player, there is a little fear when they have an injury like this for the first time," Falvey said. "That's why we had him visit two specialists. They didn't see anything beyond a stress reaction, and I think that put Miguel at ease a little bit."