Report from The Fort: Royce Lewis Tears ACL, Will Miss 2021 Season
Image courtesy of Jonathan Dyer, USA TodayLewis reported this weekend, went through COVID protocol and had his physical on Monday. He reported some soreness in his right knee. He felt a little soreness doing some side-to-side running, and then slipped on some ice in Texas. A subsequent MRI revealed the full tear.
Lewis is the Twins #2 prospect in the Twins organization (who Twins Daily, coincidentally, profiled today) and was expected to get a full year's at-bats in some combination of AA-Witchita or AAA-St. Paul. He struggled in 2019 in A ball, but rebounded in the fall in the Arizona Fall League, setting up high expectations for 2020.
He spent 2020 training in St. Paul during the cancelled minor league season, where Falvey said the organization saw a lot of development, especially defensively. "Defensively, he can make the flash play as well as anybody", said Falvey. "He can go extend - his athleticism just plays - but those routine plays and getting those ground balls regularly, that was an area of focus for him developmentally. And we thought he did a good job over there last year."
As a result, the Twins were very interested to see how he developed this year. His natural track would have been to start at AA, but Falvey admitted they were waiting to see where he was at the end of camp before making a decision. Instead, the 21-year-old will go through a 9-12 month rehab period, returning in 2021.
Following the day's workout, Rocco Baldelli addressed the media. "It’s very tough news in a lot of ways. I feel for Royce more than anything else. He was very much looking forward to getting going this year. A lot of enthusiasm coming in, and to deal with that, it’s not easy. It’s certainly a setback but one that he can certainly overcome."
Shortstops have generated quite a bit of news in these early days of spring training. Yesterday, the Twins announced they had signed 34-year-old Andrew Romine to a minor league deal and invited him to camp. Asked point blank if that was related to their concerns about Lewis, Falvey said that had been arranged before Lewis' physical.
The Twins also announced that starting shortstop Andrelton Simmons is not in camp, stuck in Curacoa with travel issues, and that he is not the only player who is. The Twins expect that situation to be resolved, but did not give a timeframe.
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