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Both Sides of the Royce Lewis AAA Situation


Melissa Berman

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Waking up yesterday morning on May 18, I was taken aback to see that Lewis was sent back to AAA. Here are both viewpoints regarding the Twins sending down Royce Lewis, and then my own take. 

Those in favor:

  • The Twins don't know how long Carlos Correa will be with the Twins, so they are sending Lewis down to continue developing at SS
  • In case Correa does stay for a while, it's necessary to find somewhere else in the field for Lewis to play, and AAA is the best place for him to try out new positions
  • You don’t just “try” your #1 future investment in new positions at the MLB level, especially since he’s coming off missing a lot of playing time due to injury
  • He'll be back soon anyway- this is just temporary 
  • More regular playing time in case the Twins aren't able to get him in the lineup every day
  • You're not going to change long-term plans based on < 2 weeks of high production 

Those against:

  • The Twins are a highly competitive team. Lewis helps the Twins be more competitive and is one of their top hitters
  • They sent him down right after a game in which he had a double and a home run!?
  • He has played outfield in the minors before, there's no reason why the Twins could not put him in left field in particular 
  • Sent down before Miranda!? (likely it's just a matter of time before he too heads back to St. Paul to work some things out)
  • What a way to kill excitement among the fans 
  • If he can play short stop, the hardest position on the field, he could play anywhere, especially 1B. If it doesn't work out after a week, send him down
  • With some shuffling around, the Twins should be able to find a spot for Lewis with some regular playing time 

My take

I understand the nuances of both sides, but I'm still not a fan of the move at all. I understand he will be back soon, and Correa said he spoke with Lewis after the game and Lewis seemed to take it well, but I think it's a disservice to him to send him down while in the midst of such a hot streak.  I'm glad he's taking it well, and I assume management explained that he's doing great and will be back as soon as he develops some more, perhaps at different positions, but still, one of my first immediate thoughts was a fear that, what if this crushes his confidence. To me, if you have a player who is on fire to the extent Lewis is, you find a spot in the lineup for him, period. Fans reacted so strongly because the Twins are competitive and the fans care. A lot of them have been following Lewis for years, ever since he was drafted. Fans caring is a good problem to have- strong emotion is better than apathy. The Twins are battling the Chicago White Sox for the AL Central crown and playing Lewis in the current lineup makes them a better team. Like I said. hopefully he is back soon, but letting him learn alongside Byron Buxton does not seem like a bad idea either.

Edited by Melissa Berman

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1 hour ago, Karbo said:

IMO he should have stayed. He has experience in the outfield and should be an easy transition to 3B. When a guy can hit like him you make room somewhere.

I absolutely agree 100%

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I find this whole situation to be not a big deal. In fact, I think this is a great problem to have. No one realistically thought Lewis was an MLB option preseason, and now he’s a part of the conversation after an 11 game sample size. Until a roster move is made such as DFA’ing Urshela or Gordon, there’s not much to be done about it. 

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On 5/19/2022 at 10:30 PM, Vanimal46 said:

I find this whole situation to be not a big deal. In fact, I think this is a great problem to have. No one realistically thought Lewis was an MLB option preseason, and now he’s a part of the conversation after an 11 game sample size. Until a roster move is made such as DFA’ing Urshela or Gordon, there’s not much to be done about it. 

I agree the situation isn't as big a deal as some think. OTOH, DFA'ing Urshela is not aging very well.

 

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There are reasonable points on both sides. However, I find the experience to be more likely to boost rather than shatter Lewis' confidence. In some ways, I'd rather he get sent down now, after tasting success, than have him with the Twins and hit a slump and get sent down. To me, that would be more of a confidence issue.

For everybody who says 'he proved he can hit in the big leagues' there are literally hundreds of examples of rookies who have a hot one, two, three weeks in the majors, and then pitchers start catching up to their strengths and weaknesses. Consistently making hard contact in baseball is about recognition, reflexes, and repetition - and Lewis had a pretty big gap in his opportunity to do that on a regular basis. Some more time in AAA certainly can't hurt.

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1 hour ago, arby58 said:

I agree the situation isn't as big a deal as some think. OTOH, DFA'ing Urshela is not aging very well.

 

Very true. The problem is becoming even better now because there’s no real place you can say he’d be better than the incumbent. Maybe LF? Maybe. 

He could still take over Gordon’s spot but then all we’re debating over is Lewis playing 1-2 times a week as a fill in somewhere. 

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