Twins Option Royce Lewis – MLB Trade Rumors


Twins Option Royce Lewis - MLB Trade Rumors

Royce Lewis homered and doubled in yesterday’s loss to the A’s and increased his slash to .308/.325/.564 through his first 11 big league games – but the Twins still picked him for Triple-A St. Paul last night to do that do pave the way Carlo Correa‘s activation from the 10-day injury list, announced manager Rocco Baldelli after the game (link via The Athletic’s Dan Hayes). Baldelli, of course, conceded that Lewis made the decision “difficult” with his play, and suggested the Twins would use that run in Triple-A to “move.” [Lewis] in the field” and “make him known a little in different places”.

Lewis’ glove work at the shortstop has long been an issue among scouts, with some seeing a move to the outfield as an eventual necessity. The 22-year-old made a few errors in his 99 innings at shortstop but also made several highlight reel plays in his tiny work sample. The Twins most likely still see him as shortstop in the long run, but Correa is arguably the best defender in the game at that position, so Lewis will use a potentially short run through Triple-A to get his feet wet at other positions and also continued honing his skills briefly.

While Lewis has limited experience at other positions, Lewis played exclusively at shortstop in 2022 – his first season of play since 2019. The 2020 season was lost to all minor leagues and Lewis missed the 2021 season due to a ruptured ACL. He logged a dozen games at third base, five at center field and four at second base during the 2019 Arizona Fall League, but he never played any position as shortstop outside of that AFL run. That Lewis was able to bounce back in both Triple-A and the majors after a more than two-year absence from the game is a testament to the upside potential and talent that led Minnesota to pick him the No. 1 overall pick back in 2017.

It’s undoubtedly still a draining move for Lewis and for Twins fans, even if the move is short-term in nature. However, Correa will return to the lineup, giving the club a top-flight defensive player and MVP caliber talent whose racquet went hot just before the hit-by-pitch that ultimately landed him on the 10-day IL. The 27-year-old has .255/.320/.372 overall but has posted .412/.444/.588 paces in the nine games before his injury.

As for where Lewis will board on his return, the twins have several options. First base was the biggest hole in both of their formations Miguel Sano and view Jose Miranda wriggle on the plate. porter Luis Arraez however, has begun to place himself at first base more regularly, and the Twins certainly still have hope that the outfielder/first baseman Alex Kirilloff — like Lewis, a longtime top prospect in both the system and the league overall — will fix the ship in Triple-A and be able to play a bigger role there.

Above the diamond, the third base might be a more workable fit. Gio Urschel has made some strong defensive plays but ranks average by most public metrics with the glove. He’s also only hit the plate .226/.280/.330 in 118 trips – a feat (or lack thereof) that would ultimately jeopardize his place in the lineup even if he produced stellar numbers on the defensive side of the coin. Minnesota left fielders, meanwhile, are batting .236/.294/.341 during the season, due in large part to Kirilloff’s struggles prior to his wrist injury Nick Gordon‘s lukewarm .250/.292/.309 output (most of which originated playing in left field).

Being unsure of where they’ll ultimately put Lewis back in the mix is ​​the quintessential “good problem” you have to have for a team. It will be worth keeping a close eye on where Lewis competes across the river in St Paul as it could pre-empt some other big league squad decisions. Lewis is technically required to remain with the Saints for at least 10 days after being optioned, although the Twins can easily circumvent that minimum by recalling Lewis as an appropriate step for injury if they see fit.

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