OAKLAND, Calif. — Royce Lewis doubled, homed, and made a fine defensive play in the Twins’ 5-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
The reward for his efforts?
Triple-A’s trip back.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli announced after Tuesday night’s game that the Twins have substituted top prospect for the Triple-A St. Paul Saints to make room for star shortstop Carlos Correa, who is expected to come off the injured list and return to work on Wednesday. The game is ready to play. ,
“It was an opportunity that he grabbed and I think it lays a beautiful foundation on which he will build a really good major league career,” Baldelli said of Lewis.
Earlier this month The Twins promoted Lewis when Correa took a pitch with his right middle finger. While the twins initially feared a broken finger, Correa ended up walking with a traumatic bone injury instead.
When he was sidelined, the Twins turned to Lewis, whom they picked as the top pick in the 2017 draft. Lewis has been a potential prospect for years, his journey to the majors slowed by a tear to his right anterior cruciate ligament, which cost him last season.
Due to an injury to Correa, he arrived ahead of schedule – and he delivered.
Lewis hit .308 with .889 OPS in 11 games with the Twins. His first career home run, a Grand Slam, earned him applause from the target field crowd.
“I enjoy every day,” Lewis said before the game. “Rarely complain, especially when you’re here living your dream. I don’t know how you can be upset.”
Baldelli said the shortstop still had a smile on his face in the midst of despair when he received the news of his demotion.
“That young man is not going to stop working. He’s not going to be any less inspired. I don’t see him changing a bit,” Baldelli said. “He will be ready to play the first game in St. Paul. And he will be there for us when we need him next time. He’s a good looking player.”
While the Twins liked a lot from Lewis, they also wished he had to bat consistently, which becomes impossible with the return of Correa.
Baldelli said Lewis would get most of his work at shortstop, but he would be moving around the field a bit to get more exposure at different locations.
“The last thing we want to do is start sending him around the field to play in places he’s literally never played,” Baldelli said. “You can do it sometimes if you do it once and you send a person to a particular place. But just tossing him around, is probably not the best way to go and to play at this level Not the best way to dress him.”
And while Baldelli said choosing Lewis “wasn’t an easy decision,” the twins are very excited about the man they’re activating from the injured list.
“We’re adding one of the best players in the game to play shortstop for us every day. It’s great to be able to write Carlos’ name in the lineup (Wednesday) and I’m very happy to do that,” Baldelli said. he said. “I have no doubt that Royce will have a lot of great moments ahead for us and we can see them sooner than later.”