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Scoggins: Accuse Twins of error for referring Lewis to minors

A division-leading team demoted its best hitter and one of its most exciting players on Tuesday night after watching him smash a double and homer and make another defensive play at shortstop .

Hey, good career start, kid. Now pack your bags and get on a plane for minors. Go get them!

Royce Lewis started his major league career on fire and seems to really belong.

The Twins decided he was better off in the minors right now.

What am I forgetting here?

Normally, teams send young players to the minors if they are struggling or seem over-equipped at home plate or the mound. The Twins demoted their top prospect who is doing everything right and kept Jose Miranda, who bats .094 and looks outmatched in every way.

Miranda will also be heading to Class AAA St. Paul soon enough, but the optics are terrible.

Derek Falvey’s front office had a decision to make once Carlos Correa’s injured finger healed and he was ready to return. Everyone should agree with the principle that Lewis must play every day, especially after missing the last two seasons due to COVID and injury. Playing shortstop every day isn’t an option with Correa in the lineup.

Fine. Ask Lewis to play first base. Or third base. Or left field. Ask him to serve as the designated hitter on certain days, or as a platoon in center field when Byron Buxton gets one of his frequent scheduled days off.

The team can easily find ways to have Lewis on the pitch every day.

The Twins counter that asking Lewis to play out of position at the major league level would hurt his development. Sorry, I don’t agree with this theory.

Lewis is an exceptional athlete, the first draft pick for a reason. He is so naturally talented that he could excel – or at least be more than good enough – in most positions. Should we really believe that playing left field or third base would overwhelm him or slow down his development?

This scenario might not produce favorable results for most prospects. Lewis isn’t like most prospects.

It sounds like a case of overreacting to a problem that might never exist. Why take his hot bat out of the lineup without giving him a chance to see if plan B can work?

Lewis’ home will always be at shortstop. If/when Correa retires from his contract after this season, Lewis can return directly to this position. He won’t forget how to play shortstop.

The front office had a difficult week in public relations. It took an outburst of criticism from fans and the media after Buxton was not used as a batter in extra innings on Saturday to persuade team officials to publicly share the organization’s plan to give in Buxton periodic rest days for his ailing knee with the hope that he will reach 100 games.

The Twins should have been transparent in disclosing this plan ahead of time instead of allowing Buxton’s reputation to be hit like a pinata every time he is not in training and apparently not even available on certain days. regardless of the game situation.

Lewis’ demotion followed a few days later, which is more of an annoyance than anything. Sending him to the minors will not cause irreparable harm to his career. He will be fine. It’s the optics of it that cause the frustration.

Lewis is a popular draw with fans. He’s wonderfully talented, and his first major league experience started with a bang. In 11 games, he looked like one of the Twins’ best players. People rightly want to see him more.

If Correa was injured again, Lewis would be back immediately. Manager Rocco Baldelli said the plan is for Lewis to play multiple positions at St. Paul, not just shortstop, which likely opens the door for him to return as a utility player. He should acquire this experience in the majors.

Lewis was thriving in his appeal hearing. He deserved to stay.

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