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
- 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
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