Twins Pump Brakes on Royce Lewis’ Call-Up Being Imminent

Photo: Aaron Lavinsky - Star Tribune

Royce Lewis is hitting .375 with a 1.313 OPS 3 HR and 6 RBI, in 4 rehab games with the St. Paul Saints. He started his rehab assignment in Wichita, where he hit over .300 and jacked 2 homers in 2 games, before being transferred to St. Paul.

Lewis’ smoking hot return to baseball has Minnesota Twins fans salivating as they wait for June 1, the first day he is eligible to come off the injured list and join the big league squad. A squad that has lost four of its last six games and happens to have a vacancy needing filled at 3rd base.

Twins do not appear in any hurry to call Royce Lewis up after rehab assignment

But not so fast, says Twins’ manager, Rocco Baldelli, after the Twins’ latest lackluster offensive performance on Sunday, a 4-2 loss to the Angels. That’s when Rocco was asked about how quickly the organization plans to add Lewis to its MLB lineup, once his rehab assignment expires. Baldelli’s answer: ‘we’re not…’.

“We’re not going to bring anyone back from a situation like his until they’re fully ready —physical, mentally and everything else. He still has a way to go as far as at-bats, even though he’s put some good swings on the ball. He’s got some playing to do right now. When we think it helps us and it works well for the team, hopefully we’ll have him here.”

Rocco Baldelli (Quote via the Star Tribune)
Rocco downplays Royce’s hot start

Wow, “he’s put some good swings on the ball” has to be THE sports downplay of this century. Royce Lewis has done nothing but mash baseballs since stepping back into the batter’s box earlier this month. I mean, his bat is a legitimate danger to the careers of Triple-A pitchers across the league, as long as he is still playing for the Saints.

Not only is Lewis showing he’s a big league caliber baseball player on his current rehab assignment, but he has already proven he can hit MLB pitchers too. Nobody wants to rush a call-up for any top prospect but Royce already made his big league debut before his injury and he looked like a future superstar, hitting .300 with a .867 OPS, 2 HR and 5 RBI in 12 games with the Twins in 2022.

But it doesn’t matter what I think or want. As of now, it seems like a June 1 Royce Lewis call-up is unlikely to happen. That date is just over one week away and Lewis isn’t even playing in back-to-back games yet with the Saints. He’s on a play one, sit one schedule. So Rocco saying “he’s got some playing to do” hints to me that Royce will be in St. Paul for at least a couple more weeks.

Of course, that could change quickly if Kyle Farmer or someone else in the Twins’ infield suffers an injury that forces the Twins’ hand. Jorge Polanco is already on the injured list and Jose Miranda has been terrible with the Saints since his demotion. Rocco & Co may not have a choice but to bring Royce Lewis up, should they suffer any other losses in the infield.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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