Brooks Lee is Not 100%… but He’s Raking Again and a Minnesota Twins Call-Up Feels Imminent

Brooks Lee
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

When the Minnesota Twins broke from spring training down in Fort Myers, top prospect Brooks Lee didn’t travel with the St. Paul Saints. Despite having played in exhibition action, an injury issue was brewing and figuring that out became a must.

For years Brooks Lee has played through different back issues. The level in which they bother him are often limited, but a painful spasm during Spring Training revealed a herniated disc, something that required multiple weeks on the injured list.

After recently completing his rehab assignment, Lee joined the Saints in St. Paul where he is already settling in nicely. Brooks has spoken publicly about his back issues, noting that it never really feels 100% and that managing it and listening to his body has become the focus.

“It was the most painful spasm I’ve had, and I knew it was serious because of how locked-up and protective my body became. In reality, there’s not much to do other than be smarter with my total reps and learn some more recovery exercises that could prevent it from happening again.”

Brooks LeeTwins Daily

So far, so good. Now that the herniated disc pain seems to have subsided, he looks like his old self, playing mostly shortstop for the Saints and playing well defensively.

Through 10 games at the plate in St. Paul, Lee has a .310 batting average to go with his .832 OPS. Oh, did I mention that was before he went 3 for 5 with three doubles on Wednesday afternoon. He also hit a grand slam on Monday night.

Back Issues are nothing new for Minnesota Twins Brooks Lee

Brooks Lee’s back problems are chronic, and that means, as he admitted above, that it’s something he may always have to manage. As long as he can do that successfully, there’s no reason to think he can’t be every part the talented hitter he’s already proven he is.

If nothing else, his injury this spring may have provided a reminder as to how meticulously he needs to manage his body going forward. Lee has played all ten games for the Saints, since being activated.

Related: Brooks Lee Injury Worse Than Originally Diagnosed by Minnesota Twins Doctors

Nine of those games were at shortstop, while starting the final one at third base. Where he fits in for the Twins could be on the opposite side of the diamond, at 2nd, a promotion that, really, could happen at any time.

Minnesota Twins might need to make room for Brooks Lee

When the Twins sent Edouard Julien back to Triple-A, it was because he had slumped so heavily at the big league level that the second-year player looked like he needed a reset. Unfortunately it hasn’t taken yet as he owns just a .620 OPS through his first 13 games. Julien has also played some first base which would allow positional flexibility to shuffle Rocco Baldelli’s infield.

The foreseeable future will have both Carlos Correa and Royce Lewis locked in on the left side of the infield. Jose Miranda rotates at both corner spots, and Carlos Santana plays first base.

The only real opening is second base, where Willi Castro has been among Minnesota’s best players. Kyle Farmer is the odd man out, but the front office isn’t going to jettison a veteran clubhouse guy when a promotion for Lee doesn’t include significant playing time.

Related: Alex Kirilloff Surprises Twins with Back Injury After No-Show with Saints

His ceiling isn’t that of Walker Jenkins or Emmanuel Rodriguez, but he can be a regular that threatens to make an All-Star Game or two. That’s incredibly valuable, and with Castro capable of playing all over the place, opening up second base may need to happen sooner rather than later.

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