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Lewis Optioned


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Per multiple beat writers. Will play all over at STP

Just absolutely unbelievable decision making by the twins front office. Lewis is the best option at 3rd and LF right now, and maybe even DH. Miranda and Gordon stay up for now. If this is any longer than the required 10 days I will be absolutely livid. Lewis is a better option learning on the fly at 3rd than Miranda the way things currently stand, and the same is probably true with Gordon in LF. 

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42 minutes ago, Mill1634 said:

Per multiple beat writers. Will play all over at STP

Just absolutely unbelievable decision making by the twins front office. Lewis is the best option at 3rd and LF right now, and maybe even DH. Miranda and Gordon stay up for now. If this is any longer than the required 10 days I will be absolutely livid. Lewis is a better option learning on the fly at 3rd than Miranda the way things currently stand, and the same is probably true with Gordon in LF. 

Outside of a handful of Arizona Fall League games Lewis has played 12 innings total at 3B AND OF combined in the minors.

I hate seeing Royce go down, but he needs to play everyday.... and learning a new position on the fly in the majors is just asking for trouble. Correa needs to play everyday. Royce will be back. 

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50 minutes ago, Mill1634 said:

Per multiple beat writers. Will play all over at STP

Just absolutely unbelievable decision making by the twins front office. Lewis is the best option at 3rd and LF right now, and maybe even DH. Miranda and Gordon stay up for now. If this is any longer than the required 10 days I will be absolutely livid. Lewis is a better option learning on the fly at 3rd than Miranda the way things currently stand, and the same is probably true with Gordon in LF. 

I suspect that the choice was made because they view Gordon as a more viable outfield candidate, including center the way they are babying Buxton (and will continue to), and they are grooming Miranda for 1st base if he can prove he can hit major league pitching.  I do hate to see Lewis go down, but I don't see him playing 1st base or center anytime soon, so they will work with him on different things in St. Paul.  With the guaranteed money they are paying Correa and Urshela they aren't going to sit them for a rookie, at least not right now.  And, knowing this FO, they may be trying to save a year of control while waiting to see if Correa will stay longer term.  

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I think it makes some sense. I know people here have argued that Royce could play all over in the majors, but the powers that be want him to do that in AAA. I can see either side of that. It was always going to be a tough decision what to do with him once Correa was activated. 

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1 hour ago, glunn said:

I hate this move. Lewis has been on fire and the Twins need hot hitters right now.

Agreed.

This team only has a winning record because they're winning about 3 games a week scoring 2 runs or less. We're quickly getting to the point where 5 runs or more are needed for wins - who else besides Lewis and Buxton can hit?

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Wow, was I wrong about that. I assumed the Twins would never option a guy that was carrying the team with his bat. I figured they'd move Royce Lewis around at the mlb level, find a spot for him, like they do with Arraez. Plus, I figured if they were going to option somebody, they'd demote Jose Miranda, whose bat is growing icicles.

Sounds like fielding flexibility is the plan, except the moving around will start with a move to St Paul. 

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This is what I thought should happen. Partly because he went two years without playing meaningful baseball games he needs to play every day in order to optimize his further development. This is the case whether he concentrates on playing shortstop (which I think best suits both him and the team) or gets more experience at other positions. Keeping him with the Twins all season may make a difference of a win or two in the 2022 regular season but getting him maximum in-game experience is what is most important.

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Disappointing, but not real surprising. I think Lewis is definitely ready to play in the bigs, but the reality is, he also hasn't played much ball in the last couple years. His primary position is SS, so with Correa back, that limits the options. Do you get rid of Urshela at 3rd? The guy's been awesome defensively and starting to hit better. We'd be losing a vacuum cleaner there. There's already a crowded OF situation, and Larnach will be back soon too. Also enough DH candidates for now. Just too many players and not enough positions. Don't get me wrong...I like Lewis a lot and he'll be a very good ballplayer here. If Correa wasn't here, Lewis would be my everyday SS. I don't know what the right answer is. It's a tough situation, but he'll be back.  

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It's not the move I probably would have made but it's also a defensible move. Haven't we seen enough of the Twins experimenting with players at new positions in the majors? If Lewis is to play third (or especially outfield) he should probably do that in St Paul for awhile, away from the spotlight.

And with Correa and Buxton on the team and banged up, there simply is not DH space for Lewis.

But still, I probably would have demoted Miranda first... but if Miranda is demoted in the coming days anyway, it doesn't really matter.

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5 hours ago, SwainZag said:

Outside of a handful of Arizona Fall League games Lewis has played 12 innings total at 3B AND OF combined in the minors.

I hate seeing Royce go down, but he needs to play everyday.... and learning a new position on the fly in the majors is just asking for trouble. Correa needs to play everyday. Royce will be back. 

I understand that Lewis wasn't taking grounders at 3B all day in the AFL, but competitively, it was probably comparable to St. Paul now and I'm sure Lewis approached his 12 3B starts there professionally (it's not a position you want to go into unprepared!). And he won AFL MVP, so he wasn't affected negatively at the plate.

I'd say an elite shortstop prospect, who's locked in at the plate, is precisely the kind of player who could expect to transition to a new position without too much difficulty.

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10 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

It's not the move I probably would have made but it's also a defensible move. Haven't we seen enough of the Twins experimenting with players at new positions in the majors? If Lewis is to play third (or especially outfield) he should probably do that in St Paul for awhile, away from the spotlight.

But isn't Lewis better than those guys? This isn't Sano to RF, or Arraez to 1B.

And with shifting in the modern MLB game, playing SS and 3B have a lot more overlap than they have in the past.

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17 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

But isn't Lewis better than those guys? This isn't Sano to RF, or Arraez to 1B.

And with shifting in the modern MLB game, playing SS and 3B have a lot more overlap than they have in the past.

Oh, Lewis is definitely more capable but it's also a pretty unfair ask to move him to a position he started at 12 times in October of 2019. That's it. That's his professional time at third base.

And it's not as if Urshela is a hack. He's struggling offensively but he can absolutely pick it at the hot corner.

As I said, probably not the move I would have made but it's very defensible. If Lewis can't play every day at a position he doesn’t need to learn on the fly, it's entirely reasonable to put him in a lower key atmosphere and let him do that. It's still mid-May.

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3 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Oh, Lewis is definitely more capable but it's also a pretty unfair ask to move him to a position he started at 12 times in October of 2019. That's it. That's his professional time at third base.

And it's not as if Urshela is a hack. He's struggling offensively but he can absolutely pick it at the hot corner.

As I said, probably not the move I would have made but it's very defensible. If Lewis can't play every day at a position he's not learning on the fly, it's entirely reasonable to put him in a lower key atmosphere and let him do that. It's still mid-May.

The presence of Urshela and the composition of the rest of our roster should be a point in favor of keeping Lewis in MLB right now. We don't need Lewis to "move to 3B" as in immediately play 3B every day. Maybe every other day as his progress warrants, with the rest of his time at DH and 1 start a week or so at SS (remember Correa took scheduled off days before his injury).

DH starts, last 2 weeks:

Sanchez 7
Buxton 2
Polanco 1
Miranda 1
Garlick 1
Jeffers 1
Arraez 1

Larnach is due back, but he should primarily take over LF from Gordon. No reason Lewis can't take a big chunk of DH starts to keep his bat sharp while he transitions away from shortstop.

And if you keep Lewis on the MLB roster, it's not permanent -- you can always change course later. If we sense he really needs more intense reps at 3B or the playing time just isn't there, you can send him down later.

Dude's got a 162 OPS+ right now, with a HR and a double just last night.

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47 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

It's not the move I probably would have made but it's also a defensible move. Haven't we seen enough of the Twins experimenting with players at new positions in the majors? If Lewis is to play third (or especially outfield) he should probably do that in St Paul for awhile, away from the spotlight.

And with Correa and Buxton on the team and banged up, there simply is not DH space for Lewis.

But still, I probably would have demoted Miranda first... but if Miranda is demoted in the coming days anyway, it doesn't really matter.

Yup ... I said this in the other thread, pretty much. And I am really laughing at some of the responses ... mostly the same people complaining when we play people out of position saying it's okay to do that to Lewis, especially after he hasn't played for two years. But also for those suggesting nefarious reasons. I get that Lewis has been great and I get the rationale that we should support the ones playing well, but there simply wasn't room. Who else was going to be sent down? I mean, yeah, I would have sent Miranda down before Lewis, but he will get sent down the minute Larnach is activated, probably Friday, or maybe after today's game or tomorrow. I think that Lewis will be back up when the Twins have to cut their pitchers down to 13 and add a position player. Or the next IL stint for any position player. It will be Lewis. I think that Kirilloff is out of their plans for the immediate future, and that Lewis is now their plan and is going to be back up, playing everywhere. After two years of him not playing at all, I get wanting to give him some time in AAA to get play all over the field. I get the rationale of having him do that here, too. But ... a tough decision needed to made. We could have sent a pitcher down instead of Lewis, ahead of the May 30 deadline, but given our need for pitchers right now, I guess they felt this is what had to be.

So, who else do you send down after Miranda? Larnach will be activated soon. If we had sent down Miranda last night, who goes down tonight or tomorrow in place of Larnach? Who, who is not a pitcher?

I also am going to add, that I bet they've given Lewis a plan. That this is part of a larger plan. And that they've told him ... go, play all over, we are bringing you back up on May 30 or 31st.

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20 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

Yup ... I said this in the other thread, pretty much. And I am really laughing at some of the responses ... mostly the same people complaining when we play people out of position saying it's okay to do that to Lewis, especially after he hasn't played for two years. 

Twins fans flip flopping opinions based off of frustrations of the moment? Never! 😛 

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Here's some data on Twins defensive positioning.

In 2022 so far per Statcast, 43.2% of our pitches have been thrown in front of a shifted defensive alignment, where the 3B lines up in the traditional shortstop position, while the SS is closer to the traditional 2B position.

image.png

I'm guessing the Twins operate the St. Paul defense in a similar manner.

So while he's been exclusively a shortstop, Lewis is already used to playing in multiple spots on the field -- and even playing 3B, he'd spend nearly half of his time in the traditional shortstop spot.

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1 hour ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

And with Correa and Buxton on the team and banged up, there simply is not DH space for Lewis.

Wait a sec -- if Correa is banged up and taking DH reps, then that means there would be SS space for Lewis. :)

But I doubt that Correa will see much time at DH (he has zero time there so far, and only 2 games in his entire MLB career to date).

And even Buxton is getting full days off more than DH'ing -- just 6 starts there on the season, basically once a week.

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I'm more in favor of Lewis continuing to play every day than I am of him staying up with the Twins.  With the current roster construction, I don't see Lewis playing every day even across multiple positions.  And if he sits, what he's doing with the bat is almost irrelevant.  

I would agree that sending Miranda down first would have been my preferred move too, but I can see why Lewis went down.  That doesn't mean that I have to like it, but I can understand it.

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The whole thing is a result of the boneheaded budget busting, locker room destroying totally jackass signing of Carlos Correa for $105,000,000.00 to play the position of the number 1 overall pick in the entire draft. And now its even more asinine if neither Correa nor Lewis can play any other position besides shortstop. Like another poster said, its almost like intentional moves to run whats left of the fan base off. Don't tell me about master plans. So if they do bring Lewis back on May 30 is he then going to able to play multiple positions when he is evidently unable to on May 18? Also agree about the pitching last night. How do you remove a pitcher after giving up no runs and 2 hits in 3 innings and then watch a pitcher give up 5 runs and 9 hits in 3.2 innings? Was that the master plan for that game? Hey Rocco, you can't plan a baseball game. That is why you play the game.

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14 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

Wait a sec -- if Correa is banged up and taking DH reps, then that means there would be SS space for Lewis. :)

But I doubt that Correa will see much time at DH (he has zero time there so far, and only 2 games in his entire MLB career to date).

And even Buxton is getting full days off more than DH'ing -- just 6 starts there on the season, basically once a week.

Yeah, good point about Correa. Like I said, not the move I would have made but it's defensible. Avoiding making a guy who was idle for two full years to play a position he played for two weeks in the AFL three seasons ago isn't some insane decision.

If Lewis is still in St Paul in mid-June while Urshela is still hitting at the Mendoza line, then I'll start to become upset.

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24 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

We could have sent a pitcher down instead of Lewis, ahead of the May 30 deadline, but given our need for pitchers right now, I guess they felt this is what had to be.

So, who else do you send down after Miranda? Larnach will be activated soon. If we had sent down Miranda last night, who goes down tonight or tomorrow in place of Larnach? Who, who is not a pitcher?

On the need for pitchers: we have an off day tomorrow, Duran hasn't thrown the past 3 days, Pagan and Smith haven't thrown the past 2 days. So we don't have an urgent need for pitchers right now.

Looking ahead, with Bundy back, we have 6 starters including Winder. Winder just threw 78 pitches out of the pen last night, so he's going to be unavailable for a bit no matter what. If we don't want to option Winder right now, I think Smeltzer is on track to start Friday, and it could make sense to option him after that start.

And we still have Stashak in the pen with options -- a big part of his utility right now is that he can be swapped out anytime for a fresh arm if we really need it.

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I think most (everyone?) understands that Lewis has virtually no experience at other positions than SS. However, most of us believe that one of the most athletic guys in the game would have no trouble learning 3rd base on the fly, and OF as well although that may be a little different. This isn’t asking sano to go to the outfield. This is an athlete who has the range to play short, with the only hit on him being his arm. He could handle 3rd base fine. The twins are hitting so poorly right now that there is zero reason to send Lewis down to “learn defense” when he’s crushing the baseball. The twins have had no issue putting terrible defenders in left throughout their years because they hit, and Royce would certainly be better than them. 

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8 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

On the need for pitchers: we have an off day tomorrow, Duran hasn't thrown the past 3 days, Pagan and Smith haven't thrown the past 2 days. So we don't have an urgent need for pitchers right now.

Looking ahead, with Bundy back, we have 6 starters including Winder. Winder just threw 78 pitches out of the pen last night, so he's going to be unavailable for a bit no matter what. If we don't want to option Winder right now, I think Smeltzer is on track to start Friday, and it could make sense to option him after that start.

And we still have Stashak in the pen with options -- a big part of his utility right now is that he can be swapped out anytime for a fresh arm if we really need it.

Smeltzer is OoO. I think Stashak is the next reliever gone. I think the plan is for ober to return this weekend, and wouldn’t be surprised to see him piggyback with Devin. 

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11 minutes ago, Mill1634 said:

I think the plan is for ober to return this weekend, and wouldn’t be surprised to see him piggyback with Devin. 

Good point on Ober. He threw 72 pitches for St. Paul on Sunday so I don't think he'd have to piggyback with anyone on his return this weekend.

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1 minute ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

Good point on Ober. He threw 72 pitches for St. Paul on Sunday so I don't think he'd have to piggyback with anyone on his return this weekend.

Yeah, more so just to keep Smeltzer loose/active. Twins have always been careful with Ober. I’d be surprised if he threw more than 80 pitches. It should lay out to be:

gray 

off

ober 

ryan 

Archer 

Bundy/Winder

Bundy/Winder/back to gray 

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