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  • Twins Minor League Report (5/19): Kernels Krush, Larnach and Lewis Launch


    Ted Schwerzler

    Take your pick with where your attention was going tonight on the farm for the Twins. Two top pitching prospects were on the bump, Royce Lewis returned to the Saints, Trevor Larnach was on a rehab assignment, and Cedar Rapids put up runs in bunches. There was a lot to be excited about.

    Image courtesy of Brett Sweeney Cedar Rapids Kernels

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    SAINTS SENTINEL 
    Omaha 11, St. Paul 2
    Box Score

    The storyline here was the return of Royce Lewis to the St. Paul lineup. He was leading off and playing shortstop, which is the position Minnesota had suggested they wanted him to get consistent run at. On the mound was top pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic, but this one was a tough outing. Working just four innings, Balazovic gave up six runs on six hits. He did walk just one while punching out five.

    It didn’t take long for the storyline to take center stage. Lewis led off the game seeing just two pitches. The first he took, and the second he blasted over the centerfield wall for his fourth home run of the season. Unfortunately for the Saints, they didn’t score again until facing a 6-1 deficit. Kevin Merrell took his turn sending one out of the park when he hit his second dinger of the year.

    Omaha continued to add on in this one, bringing home runs in each of the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings.

    Two runs was all the Saints could muster tonight, despite getting seven hits. Lewis answered in a big way going 3-for-3 and looking every bit the star he appeared to be in the brief 11 game cameo with the Twins.

    It’s been a tough stretch for the Saints as they’ve now dropped 10 in a row.

    WIND SURGE WISDOM
    Wichita 6, Springfield 5
    Box Score

    So much to like in Wichita tonight with Simeon Woods Richardson making the start, and Trevor Larnach becoming the first major league player to play a rehab assignment for the Wind Surge. Throw in that it was alternate jersey day playing as the Turbo Tubs and you’ve got yourself a great time.

    Woods Richardson continued his strong campaign working five innings allowing just two runs. Although he did give up six hits, Woods Richardson walked just one and struck out four. His ERA on the season is now 2.39.

    After getting behind in the 3rd inning, Wichita evened things up during the bottom half. Spencer Steer, who has had a great 2022 season, ripped his 13th double to plate DaShawn Keirsey. After Springfield again too the lead in the 5th inning, the Turbo Tubs answered in the bottom half.

    Larnach blasted a three-run homer to right field scoring Keirsey and Austin Martin. Steer then continued to rake and crushed his 8th homer of the season.

    Unfortunately, Steven Klimek ran into trouble for Wichita during the 8th inning and surrendered three runs (two earned). That allowed Springfield to knot things at five and make this one a tight contest in the late innings.

    Not looking to be outdone, the Turbo Tubs got turbo charged in their half of the 8th inning. Minnesota native Matt Wallner stepped in and crushed one nearly to Forest Lake, 440 feet, to regain the lead.

    KERNELS NUGGETS
    Cedar Rapids 11, Lake County 2
    Box Score

    Cade Povich took the ball tonight for the Kernels and was nothing short of dominant. He worked 5 1/3 innings allowing just two hits and blanking the opposition. Povich issued just a single free pass and punched out five.

    Cedar Rapids didn’t wait long to break this one open as Seth Gray crushed his third homer of the season in the bottom of the first, scoring Christian Encarnacion-Strand, to put the Kernels up early. In the second inning the good guys got another crooked number. Willie Joe Garry Jr. tallied his third triple scoring Jeferson Morales and then Wander Javier homered for the fourth time to drive them both in. Up 5-0 with Will Holland on base, Encarnacion-Strand recorded his sixth blast and made it 7-0.

    Waiting a couple innings to further the damage, recently promoted Kyler Fedko stepped in for the bottom of the 5th inning. With Aaron Sabato and Gray on board, Fedko crushed homer number two and made it a 10-0 game. Morales then added on his own, a solo shot to center, and it was an 11-0 laugher.

    Cedar Rapids gave back two in the 7th inning, but this one was well in hand and closed out by scoreless innings from Tyler Palm and Denny Bentley.

    The 11 hits matched the run total, and multi-hit efforts came from Sabato, Gray, Morales, and Garry Jr. The five home runs tonight were a season-high for Cedar Rapids.

    MUSSEL MATTERS
    No game

    Fort Myers is scheduled to play a doubleheader tomorrow against Clearwater.

    TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
    Pitcher of the Day – Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB 5 K
    Hitter of the Day – Seth Gray (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(3)

    PROSPECT SUMMARY

    We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. 

    Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed:

    #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, R
    #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3-3, R, RBI, HR(4)
    #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
    #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
    #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, RBI, HR (7)
    #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR(8)

    FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS

    St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35PM CST) - RHP Mario Sanchez
    Wichita @ Springfield (7:05PM CST) - LHP Blayne Enlow
    Lake County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long
    Fort Myers @ Clearwater (DH 3:00PM CST) - RHP Steven Hajjar/TBD

    Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.

     

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    Good summary, Ted.  Wallner's power is unbelievable.  If he is still pounding the ball into June, I think they should at least give him a look at St. Paul.  Povich was great last night.  He has good stuff, an easy delivery, and a confident mound presence.  He is another candidate to be moved up later this summer.  

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    Steer, Isola and Wallner are all on hot streaks right now.  Steer doesn't seem to want to give his OPS edge to those guys as he hit the 1.000 mark after last night.  As posted above Wallner is on fire. After a massive slump to start the season to have an .887 OPS is just crazy.  I have been a non-believer but he is starting to force me to change my mind.

    As a somewhat non-prospect Michael Helman is having a good year with an .843 OPS and Bechtold has been more consistent with the bat as well having a .800 OPS.   Wichita has a really tough lineup for opposing pitchers to get through.

    Fedko is holding his own at High A right now which is good to see.  Prato has been slumping with the bat recently so hopefully he gets back on track. Willie Joe Gary JR. has been moving his number up and finally has a .726 OPS.

    May has been a tough month for CES so far he has a .211 BA, .303 OBP and .313 slugging, Ouch.  That is quite the fall from where he started the year.  While he has worked his OBP up to almost 100 point above his average it hasn't seemed to pay off as far as hits are concerned.  I guess becoming a well rounded hitter is a process.  I still think he is a great prospect.

    Povich finally getting back to the dominant arm we saw earlier in the year.  Only 2 hits and one walk over 5 innings.  Headrick and Povich will have to duke it out for best lefty in the system right now.

    Lot's prospects are doing well even under the radar guys.  It has been a fun season to stat watch this year.

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    Wanted to watch the Saints game to see Lewis, AK and Larnach on a rehab assignment.  Didn't learn until reading the above that Larnach was in Wichita.  Interesting!

    Took a couple minutes to log in, so I missed the first couple hitters, DAH!  Saw Lewis later beat out a softly hit infield grounder and steal a base.  Didn't see his third hit as the game got too ugly to watch after about the 5th inning.

    The Saints seem to be a team in trouble.  I guess 10 straight losses will do that.  With names like Contreras, Cave and others with some big league time, surprising.  What is most concerning was the comment the announcer made about their defense.  Didn't know that the Saints have more errors than all teams in AAA.  

    Balazovic's numbers look bad, but he wasn't as bad as they seem.  I believe it was the first baserunner in the first inning who hit a routine groundball to short, only problem is Lewis was playing to the right of second in a shift and couldn't get to it.  I see that all the runs were earned, so Contreras' first error since 2018 (a throw to home) didn't hurt.  With runners advancing, did bring more stress to Balazovic.  In the second the infield was shifted to the third base side and AK, playing first, needed to go far to his right to field another routine grounder.  Being lefthanded, he had to make a full turn and made an awkward throw to Balazovic who got to first about when the runner did.  The throw was wide and another runner advanced, putting more stress on Balazovic.  Yes, there were also several hard hit balls in the first two innings when Balazovic gave up 6 runs.  After that he settled down and retired 7 hitters in a row to finish out his 4 innings.

    Saw AK's second and third at bats.  The second at bat came with Lewis being held on first.  Hit a hard bouncer right over the first base bag that the first baseman fielded, stepped on first and threw to second for a double play.  If Lewis isn't on first, it would have been a double.  His third at bat was a solid line drive to left-center that the center fielder caught, maybe 20 feet in front of the warning track.  A bit further to the left and its a double.  No results, but two solid at bats.

    Overall, not an enjoyable game to watch for a Twins/Saints fan.

     

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    What an organizational embarrassment to see Lewis playing in AAA.

    Intellectual and strategic malpractice. 

    He was playing SS too.... So, do they plan on playing him in AAA the rest of the year if Correa stays healthy?

    What if Correa doesn't opt out at the end of the year? Keep rockin' AAA SS next year too?

    A Correa trade to open up a MLB SS spot would lessen the quality of a team that has a chance to win the division this year and therefore counterintuitive. 

    I've been generally appreciative of the FO over their tenure (not every decision is going to work), but this is self-inflicted wound plain and simple

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    I've been hiding out in Cedar Rapids the last couple nights, watching the Kernels. There wasn't much to get excited about Wednesday, but last night was a blast. There was a big wind bowing out to left, and the Kernels took advantage. Povich was indeed masterly, denying the Captains through 5+. Willie Joe Garry impressed me - both nights he took good at bats, and stung the ball deep into several at bats, and was rewarded last night with 2 triples. Encarnacion-Strand can flat out hit. Sabato surprised me by taking balls up the middle and to right for base-hits. He didn't look the pull-hitter strikeout machine I expected. He clowns around and seems to have a lot of fun over at 1st base. Javier - I think this is the 3rd year in a row I find him here. He sure can field, nice and smooth out there. Had a homer as well. Unfortunately his bat is unlikely to play higher up.

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    1 hour ago, D.C Twins said:

    What an organizational embarrassment to see Lewis playing in AAA.

    Intellectual and strategic malpractice. 

    He was playing SS too.... So, do they plan on playing him in AAA the rest of the year if Correa stays healthy?

    What if Correa doesn't opt out at the end of the year? Keep rockin' AAA SS next year too?

    A Correa trade to open up a MLB SS spot would lessen the quality of a team that has a chance to win the division this year and therefore counterintuitive. 

    I've been generally appreciative of the FO over their tenure (not every decision is going to work), but this is self-inflicted wound plain and simple

    Usually like most of what you write, D.C.  But "Intellectual and strategic malpractice."  Seriously?

    Maybe it would make sense instead of badgering about what ifs, we sit back and see how the season plays out.  Watching the game last night, the announcer talked about a discussion he had with Gardenhire.  Toby talked about how they plan to move Lewis around to a few other positions.  Didn't say which.  As for playing shortstop last night, is it possible they want to keep him there for a few days while they work with him at those other positions?  

    I expect the FO and Manager have a plan to get Lewis back to the Twins.  I plan to sit back and see how this plays out over the next few weeks or months.  Gives me a reason to go to MiLB.tv a couple times a week and watch the Saints.  Although that was difficult last night, even though Lewis played like the star he is.

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    56 minutes ago, D.C Twins said:

    What an organizational embarrassment to see Lewis playing in AAA.

    Intellectual and strategic malpractice. 

    He was playing SS too.... So, do they plan on playing him in AAA the rest of the year if Correa stays healthy?

    What if Correa doesn't opt out at the end of the year? Keep rockin' AAA SS next year too?

    A Correa trade to open up a MLB SS spot would lessen the quality of a team that has a chance to win the division this year and therefore counterintuitive. 

    I've been generally appreciative of the FO over their tenure (not every decision is going to work), but this is self-inflicted wound plain and simple

    I'm not sure I understand how this is an embarrassment for the organization. One of their top prospects had a nice couple of weeks filling in in his first taste of MLB action and then got sent back to the minors when their $35M FA signing came back from injury, so that he could play every day. Because until this season, he hadn't played in an actual professional game in 2 years.

    Will they consider giving him some run in the OF or at 3B now, because the depth is getting a little thin? Wouldn't be a surprise. But they're looking at developing him as a foundational player for the Twins, so is it in his best interest to drop him out in LF coming off a serious knee injury for position he really has never played? or 3B, another position he's basically never played? Does it make sense when he needs all the infield reps he can find to DH him twice a week?

    In the unlikely case that Correa sticks around next season, I'm sure they would look at playing Royce somewhere else (most likely 2B or 3B, I would think) because they're not going to move a platinum glove winner off of SS. but that would also give them an entire spring training to get ready for that move, instead of throwing it together on an off day.

    Larnach is about to come back: would you really start Lewis over him in LF? Garlick is available now to mash on lefties, and Celestino is playing very well, so there really isn't a spot in the OF where we are going to need a guy, unless there's another injury. Arraez is back an can play an unconventional 1B to get his bat in the lineup. 

    I'm sure Lewis will get called back up again, but it's hardly a crime to send a top prospect with limited experience at any position other than SS back down when one of the best SS's in the game of baseball comes back from injury, especially when your prospect is a guy who missed 2 seasons between covid and injury of game time.

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    When your team wins 14 to 4, you don't feel the need for one young star like Royce Lewis. Still, his solo home run for the scuffling Saints seemed like a lonesome cry from across the river. Larnach hit one, too, which is good news for the Twins outfield and for super sub Nick Gordon, who can't give infielders a day off if he's stuck in left field. Twins need a stronger bat out there, as well as Larnach's stronger arm.

    Speaking of which, Matt Wallner, y'all! 440-foot bash, and I hear he's a converted pitcher, so I figure his arm is at least adequate. Future right fielder? First base? 

    MLB is a business of constant transitions. Only outright superstars get to stay put at their positions for long. Otherwise, some youngster with fresh body parts could take their job. That puts a lot of pressure on players that are just a whit above average. The Twins have a few guys like that...

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    At the beginning of the minor league season  a writer posted a blog of who do you think would have a breakout season  ....

    My reply was Steer , he had a good season last year but this year so far he has been bashing the ball with doubles and homers  and hitting over 300  ,,,, if he continues  he should be on pace to be promoted  by the end of June  to ST Paul ....

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    1 hour ago, roger said:

    Usually like most of what you write, D.C.  But "Intellectual and strategic malpractice."  Seriously?

    Maybe it would make sense instead of badgering about what ifs, we sit back and see how the season plays out.  Watching the game last night, the announcer talked about a discussion he had with Gardenhire.  Toby talked about how they plan to move Lewis around to a few other positions.  Didn't say which.  As for playing shortstop last night, is it possible they want to keep him there for a few days while they work with him at those other positions?  

    I expect the FO and Manager have a plan to get Lewis back to the Twins.  I plan to sit back and see how this plays out over the next few weeks or months.  Gives me a reason to go to MiLB.tv a couple times a week and watch the Saints.  Although that was difficult last night, even though Lewis played like the star he is.

    Agree that I used a whiff of hyperbole :) 

    But, we'll agree to disagree on the logic of sending him down.

    They are overthinking this. He is an emerging star with a #1 overall pick pedigree who was at very least one of the top 4 positional players in the line up went sent  down (and arguably higher)

    I have full confidence that he could provide above average defense at 3B or LF (on the days that he is not covering for SS, CF which could be 2-3 days/week given Buxton) immediately at the MLB level. People with FAAAAAR less athletic talent have adjusted on the fly in the MLB.

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    10 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

    I think the struggles of one of the top pitching prospects in AAA is a bigger story, but I get others don't agree. 

    I was going to write something but since he is just getting back up to speed was going to give a bit more time before worrying about him.  You are correct it is a big deal if an arm we are somewhat depending on or at least projecting to be an option in the starting rotation around mid year hasn't looked real sharp out there yet.   Still given his track record I think he will come around but he needs better stuff against lefties IMO.  He has been too hittable last year and so far this year which make me wonder about his stuff.

    It is made more concerning because Sands has been hit hard at AAA and Henriquez is still giving up home runs and lots of hits and walks, and if those guys are not options then you have to head to guys not yet added like SWR, Canterino and Varland.  So yeah if Jordan doesn't get going the Twins don't look like they will have great AAA arm depth options.

     

     

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    I think Larnach is doing rehab in AA because they are much closer to where Twins will be this weekend that he may be getting called up and can take a 3 hour car ride instead of having to find a flight from Omaha.  I hope he does come back and swinging like he was to be every day LF.  I like Gordon overall, but Larnach is a much better hitter when swinging well.  

    Good to see Lewis staying hot.  I hope he starts to force the teams hand in next month.  Balazovic is starting to worry me.  I am glad we can take our time with him to get back to what he was, but this has been a stretch of not very good starts.  SWR is not dominating as he was, but maybe starts like this are best for him.  He was not dominating had runners on but did not give up a bunch of runs.  I am looking forward to see him called up to AAA after break. 

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    2 hours ago, roger said:

    Balazovic's numbers look bad, but he wasn't as bad as they seem.  I believe it was the first baserunner in the first inning who hit a routine groundball to short, only problem is Lewis was playing to the right of second in a shift and couldn't get to it.  I see that all the runs were earned, so Contreras' first error since 2018 (a throw to home) didn't hurt.  With runners advancing, did bring more stress to Balazovic.  In the second the infield was shifted to the third base side and AK, playing first, needed to go far to his right to field another routine grounder.  Being lefthanded, he had to make a full turn and made an awkward throw to Balazovic who got to first about when the runner did.  The throw was wide and another runner advanced, putting more stress on Balazovic.  Yes, there were also several hard hit balls in the first two innings when Balazovic gave up 6 runs.  After that he settled down and retired 7 hitters in a row to finish out his 4 innings.

    Thanks Roger.

    I was wondering about that when I saw the box score for Blazer Beam (since I got sidetracked last night and forgot about the game).  I figured it was something along those lines. 

    Bummer to see the rough start, but he's a quality guy and I fully believe you can still learn and grow even when things don't go smoothly (also promising to hear that he settled in and didn't implode after the initial bump) .  I believe he'll be fine eventually.

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    47 minutes ago, jimbo92107 said:

    Speaking of which, Matt Wallner, y'all! 440-foot bash, and I hear he's a converted pitcher, so I figure his arm is at least adequate. Future right fielder? First base? 

    Yeah, Wallner's arm definitely fits a RF profile, gets plus-plus grades (threw mid-90's as a pitcher). Don't ask about his fielding grades, though 😉 Love watching him hit, as you never know when he's just going to absolutely tank one!

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    IMHO.....Lewis belongs in the majors.  Why couldn't he DH while learning 3B from major league coaches?  Spell Correa a couple of games at SS (while Correa DH's) and work him into 3B.......just seems our lineup would be incredibly well balanced with Royce in it.  

    Two observations from the minor league highlights......Wallner hitting that blast off of a lefty is impressive and Povich hitting 97 mph with his fastball?  Holy #%%!!!!!  Even if the gun is a little elevated, we haven't had a lefty with that kind of juice since Liriano.......

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    59 minutes ago, Trov said:

    I think Larnach is doing rehab in AA because they are much closer to where Twins will be this weekend that he may be getting called up and can take a 3 hour car ride instead of having to find a flight from Omaha.  I hope he does come back and swinging like he was to be every day LF.  I like Gordon overall, but Larnach is a much better hitter when swinging well.  

    Good to see Lewis staying hot.  I hope he starts to force the teams hand in next month.  Balazovic is starting to worry me.  I am glad we can take our time with him to get back to what he was, but this has been a stretch of not very good starts.  SWR is not dominating as he was, but maybe starts like this are best for him.  He was not dominating had runners on but did not give up a bunch of runs.  I am looking forward to see him called up to AAA after break. 

    Agree with everything you said Trov, except your geography.  I believe Omaha and Wichita are nearly the same distance from KC.  Wouldn't surprise me if Omaha was actually a few miles closer.  

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    1 hour ago, cheeseheadgophfan said:

    IMHO.....Lewis belongs in the majors.  Why couldn't he DH while learning 3B from major league coaches?  Spell Correa a couple of games at SS (while Correa DH's) and work him into 3B.......just seems our lineup would be incredibly well balanced with Royce in it.  

    Two observations from the minor league highlights......Wallner hitting that blast off of a lefty is impressive and Povich hitting 97 mph with his fastball?  Holy #%%!!!!!  Even if the gun is a little elevated, we haven't had a lefty with that kind of juice since Liriano.......

    Because Royce's future is at SS, not 3B or DH.  In all likelihood, that future starts next year, and it makes no sense to take reps away from him when he's missed the last 2 seasons, and wasn't considered a lock to stick at short before that.

    Now, if the Saints are going to move him around, then yes, he may as well do that for the Twins, and start 1x at short, 2x at 3B, and 2x at DH a week.  But in my opinion that is a disservice to both Royce and the future of the organization--Royce should be playing SS 6x a week, whether that's in MLB because Correa is out, or in AAA because Correa is in.

    Let's also stop assuming that just because Royce had a good first 40 PAs, he's now a guaranteed top half of the order hitter for an aspiring division champion team.  It's still quite possible that Royce could take the Trevor Larnach 2021 path, and have a miserable couple of months before getting demoted for cause.  That would be bad for the Twins, and potentially bad for Royce.  So let the process play out, and prioritize years 2-6 of Royce's career, as opposed to year 1.

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    4 hours ago, jmlease1 said:

    I'm not sure I understand how this is an embarrassment for the organization. One of their top prospects had a nice couple of weeks filling in in his first taste of MLB action and then got sent back to the minors when their $35M FA signing came back from injury, so that he could play every day. Because until this season, he hadn't played in an actual professional game in 2 years.

    Will they consider giving him some run in the OF or at 3B now, because the depth is getting a little thin? Wouldn't be a surprise. But they're looking at developing him as a foundational player for the Twins, so is it in his best interest to drop him out in LF coming off a serious knee injury for position he really has never played? or 3B, another position he's basically never played? Does it make sense when he needs all the infield reps he can find to DH him twice a week?

    In the unlikely case that Correa sticks around next season, I'm sure they would look at playing Royce somewhere else (most likely 2B or 3B, I would think) because they're not going to move a platinum glove winner off of SS. but that would also give them an entire spring training to get ready for that move, instead of throwing it together on an off day.

    Larnach is about to come back: would you really start Lewis over him in LF? Garlick is available now to mash on lefties, and Celestino is playing very well, so there really isn't a spot in the OF where we are going to need a guy, unless there's another injury. Arraez is back an can play an unconventional 1B to get his bat in the lineup. 

    I'm sure Lewis will get called back up again, but it's hardly a crime to send a top prospect with limited experience at any position other than SS back down when one of the best SS's in the game of baseball comes back from injury, especially when your prospect is a guy who missed 2 seasons between covid and injury of game time.

    For the record Royce played 3B until he was a senior in high school and 109 professional innings at 3B. "Basically never played" is a misrepresentation of Royce Lewis' experience.

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    1 hour ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

    Because Royce's future is at SS, not 3B or DH.  In all likelihood, that future starts next year, and it makes no sense to take reps away from him when he's missed the last 2 seasons, and wasn't considered a lock to stick at short before that.

    Now, if the Saints are going to move him around, then yes, he may as well do that for the Twins, and start 1x at short, 2x at 3B, and 2x at DH a week.  But in my opinion that is a disservice to both Royce and the future of the organization--Royce should be playing SS 6x a week, whether that's in MLB because Correa is out, or in AAA because Correa is in.

    Let's also stop assuming that just because Royce had a good first 40 PAs, he's now a guaranteed top half of the order hitter for an aspiring division champion team.  It's still quite possible that Royce could take the Trevor Larnach 2021 path, and have a miserable couple of months before getting demoted for cause.  That would be bad for the Twins, and potentially bad for Royce.  So let the process play out, and prioritize years 2-6 of Royce's career, as opposed to year 1.

    The team has already said he's going to be moving around the field at AAA. Gardenhire confirmed it last night. He's down there to get used to other positions to be ready when he's needed in the bigs again. I haven't seen anyone suggest he's a guaranteed a top half of the order hitter. The claims are he is right now. He is/was currently performing better than over half the team at the major league level. Sending him down because he may (will) struggle later isn't a good reason. His future development depends on being able to adjust to ML pitching, not AAA. He needs to go through those struggles eventually. The Twins have sent him down to work on other positions and get ABs against inferior pitchers when he could be working on those other positions and getting ABs against the pitching he'll ultimately have to adjust to.

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    2 hours ago, roger said:

    Agree with everything you said Trov, except your geography.  I believe Omaha and Wichita are nearly the same distance from KC.  Wouldn't surprise me if Omaha was actually a few miles closer.  

    Looks like Omaha is closer to the KC airport and Wichita is closer to the stadium.  That must mean...

     

     

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    1 hour ago, chpettit19 said:

    For the record Royce played 3B until he was a senior in high school and 109 professional innings at 3B. "Basically never played" is a misrepresentation of Royce Lewis' experience.

    109 innings is like 12 games, and none of them have been in the last 2 years, though. He's a gifted player and could probably adapt...but is it in his best interests (outside of the financial)? I expect him to be back up one way or another in the next month or so (either because of some injury to another player or he keeps hitting his way up here), but he's also still not a fully formed hitter. His approach at the plate could be taken advantage of by teams now that they have some tape on him, so expecting him to keep hitting like he did in his first stint may be unrealistic as well, and I feel like that expectation is driving some of the outrage that he was sent back down. he's going to have a few 0-fer games, and if he'd been coming off back-to-back bagels we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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    1 hour ago, jmlease1 said:

    109 innings is like 12 games, and none of them have been in the last 2 years, though. He's a gifted player and could probably adapt...but is it in his best interests (outside of the financial)? I expect him to be back up one way or another in the next month or so (either because of some injury to another player or he keeps hitting his way up here), but he's also still not a fully formed hitter. His approach at the plate could be taken advantage of by teams now that they have some tape on him, so expecting him to keep hitting like he did in his first stint may be unrealistic as well, and I feel like that expectation is driving some of the outrage that he was sent back down. he's going to have a few 0-fer games, and if he'd been coming off back-to-back bagels we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    I don't expect him to continue to keep hitting like he did. I expect him to have struggles when the pitchers adjust. Then he needs to figure out how to adjust back. That's the life of a major league hitter. He can't do that in AAA. He needs to learn to adjust to major league pitchers and how they get him out. Sending him down because he's going to have struggles in the future isn't to his benefit it's to his detriment. 

    So you expect him back up in the next 4 weeks or so? If he played half his games at 3B during that time it'd be "like 12 games" at 3B (3 games a week for 4 weeks). So 12 games matters now, but 12 previous games don't? Why are we acting like the kid forgot how to play baseball and hasn't swung a bat or fielded a grounder in 2 years. He played baseball that first season. It's where he adjusted his swing and made strides in his fielding. His rehab from surgery included playing baseball. He's been playing for months now and succeeding. People may have expected him to start slow, but he didn't. He's playing well. Bringing up 2 missed years as a reason why he can't play now even though he's currently playing well blows my mind.

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    It's not like Lewis is being converted from linebacker or power forward to third base.  He'll pick up the nuances just fine.  Left field if they do that, ditto.  A few weeks at AAA again, to clean up whatever list of things I bet they gave him to work on, and he'll be back up to stay.  Miranda is the one who should be worried, having muffed his chance when either 3B or 1B was there for the taking - it may not be so easy later in the season to find playing time in the majors if he belatedly proves he's "ready".

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