As I linked to earlier today, Twins uber prospect Miguel Sano is going to have to have Tommy John surgery. Terrible. People want him to come up RIGHT NOW because the team has been so bad for the past few years and patience is wearing thin. This is a fairly major setback, and fans are apopletic. The fans that like to bash the front office are upset about being sold on hope (rather than overpaying for mediocre free agents, I guess) while other short sighted fans see this as another example of bad luck for the Twins and see no hope going forward.
Sano was likely never in the running for a spot on the Twins roster coming out of camp, so it doesn’t necessarily set the team back, despite what some people thought. If anything, it pushes his debut back to next season, which I might point out, is only his age 21 season. It’s not like he is being robbed of his prime. The way it’s playing out, it seems more likely that Sano and Byron Buxton debut at the same time, which would be doubly exciting.
And Tommy John surgery, or more accurately a UCL injury, isn’t the end of the world. Miguel Sano is still young, which is very beneficial for his recovery. Second, he is not a pitcher. We all hear about the 2 year recovery for pitchers, but position players don’t need to throw with 95mph velocity or pinpoint accuracy. They can start swinging again in 4 months and they will be able to throw again by the end of the season. I mean, it seems LIKELY that Sano won’t make an appearance this year, but it’s still actually possible. Third, to reiterate, Miguel Sano is not a pitcher! He could continue a long healthy career at third, maybe move to DH a little sooner than expected, but his career will not be derailed by elbow inflammation. This is a delay, not destruction.
If anything, this is can be a learning experience for all of baseball. Keep an eye on the over use of ALL young prospects. Not just the pitchers, but the position players playing year round, even if they are at third base.