How will Austin Martin fit into the Twins lineup?

Now that Austin Martin is finally making his debut, how will he fit into the Twins lineup?
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

The weekend got off to a strange start for Minnesota Twins fans. On Saturday the team announced that Royce Lewis would be heading to the IL, which is objectively terrible. The corresponding move, however, was calling up Austin Martin to finally make his MLB debut, which is something we’ve all been waiting for since he arrived back in 2021.

Martin was traded to Minnesota back in 2021 as part of the Jose Berrios deal with the Blue Jays, and he’s been working his way up over the last few years. He’s battled a few injuries, which is sadly very on-brand for the Twins and any top prospect they have.

He suffered a setback last spring that delayed his debut, and things hit a snag again this year when he was pushed out of the Opening Day picture after the Twins traded for Manuel Margot. It felt like a matter when not if Martin would make his debut, and that opportunity is being presented after the loss of Lewis.

It’s hardly the way anyone wanted to see Martin get the call, but after a long wait he’s finally going to get his chance to try and make an impact and make a case for sticking around.

How will Austin Martin fit into the Twins lineup?

Martin getting called up is awesome, but it's also a peculiar move in terms of how it fits the lineup as a true replacement for Lewis. He plays second base and outfield, two positions the Twins seem to have covered so well that it rendered All-Star Jorge Polanco expendable this winter.

Rather than replace Lewis at third, Martin figures to be a depth addition to the 26-man roster. Kyle Farmer is expected to move over to thrid base and fill in while Lewis is out, with Martin serving as a replacement for Farmer as depth behind Edouard Julien.

Farmer was in the Opening Day lineup over Julien to give the Twins the best lineup against left-handed pitching, which is something the team is going to do a lot of this year (not just with Julien but all young left handed hitters).

Martin offers more than just depth at second base. When it looked like he might be in the running to make the Opening Day roster, the argument was that Martin could help platoon out in center with Byron Buxton. Even after the Manuel Margot trade, which seemingly ended his bid to make the initial rsoter, this still holds true.

Buxton looked good in his return to center, the first time he had played the position for the Twins since August 2022, but a cautious approach is going to be taken. Margot feels like the guy who will play for him on Buxton's off days, but there's now a scenario where Martin subs in at center while the Twins move Margot to either of the corner outfield spots.

Essentially, Martin gives the Twins depth options which is overall a good sign that Lewis isn't expected to be out for a long time. If Jose Miranda had been called up, that would have suggested the injury was more serious than it might actually be.

Of course, we won't know the full extent of the injury until the Twins make an officially announcement. Lewis was initially placed on the 10-day IL, though, which lines up with the theory that Martin is less of a replacement for Lewis and more of a guy who provides some depth while the Twins wait for their star to return.

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