Royce Lewis Demotion Left Teammates Shocked, Upset

Photo: MLB.com

In many ways, the Minnesota Twins demotion of Royce Lewis on Tuesday night made sense. But that hasn’t made the decision any more popular among the fanbase. And when Twins players in the locker room found out, they too sat silently stunned in disbelief.

Rocco Baldelli and the front office had sent down one of the best players in the Twins’ lineup and his teammates were perplexed by the decision, according to Dan Hayes (The Athletic).

Teammates Shocked

…well-thought-out decisions aren’t always received as such in the clubhouse. And the quietest postgame atmosphere of the season, which was the case Tuesday, would suggest this one didn’t land.

Not only did players have to absorb a tough, three-run loss on the field, but they also were shocked to discover Lewis was headed back to Triple-A St. Paul despite an outstanding start to his major-league career. That Lewis was a capable fill-in during his 11-game stint, batting .308/.325/.564 in 40 plate appearances while playing a smooth defensive shortstop, wasn’t lost on teammates.

Dan Hayes – The Athletic

Players Care About Winning

Major League Baseball players know how the business of professional baseball works so their reaction to Royce Lewis’ demotion is telling. At the end of the day, everyone in the Minnesota Twins locker room wants to win games and they were keenly aware of what Lewis brought to the table in accomplishing that shared goal.

Sure, changing Lewis’ position wouldn’t have been the easiest thing to do and may not have been what was best for his development. But his teammates don’t care about any of that. In his eleven big league games, Lewis had convinced those in the Twins’ locker room that he could help win games.

“Royce has been playing great,” Correa said Wednesday morning. “He’s been one of the best players on the field since he’s been up. So yeah, it was sort of a surprise. He’s just been so electric, so good during this stretch with us.”

“You guys saw the clubhouse, saw the vibe. That will tell you what you need to know.”

Fans, Players Both Mad

We know Rocco Baldelli and the Minnesota Twins organization cares about comradery and happiness inside the roster. But this move clearly pissed some people off. What will that mean in the long run? Who knows. One thing is clear, however. Fans who were mad about Royce Lewis’ demotion were not alone.

It may not be a mutiny but real recognizes real and Twins players recognized what Lewis brought to their team. Correa even sat with Rocco to discuss the decision and try to make more sense of it. Maybe that sort of thing happens often… but I doubt it.

Wednesday morning, Twins players publicly and privately expressed disappointment with the decision to demote Lewis. This isn’t a mutiny — it’s far from it. Players have grown accustomed to the concept that baseball is a business and tough decisions are commonplace.

But it doesn’t mean they have to like it, either — even if Lewis could return to the team soon.

Dan Hayes – The Athletic

After sitting with Lewis and offering words of encouragement Tuesday, Correa met with Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. He wanted to hear the team’s rationale.

“I had conversations with Rocco (on Tuesday) night. We talked about his plan and everything. What they’re thinking makes sense. They’re the ones that run the team, and they know what moves they have to make.

Dan Hayes – The Athletic

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan