Twins confirm Brooks Lee’s debut will have to wait until after Opening Day

It was a long shot, but the dream is officially dead.

Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox
Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

With Opening Day just days away, the Minnesota Twins are making some final preparations for the start of the season. Most of this has involved trimming down the roster to just 26 players, although some rough injury news has thrown a wrench in certain plans.

One thing that has seemed certain for a while is that Brooks Lee would get squeezed off the Opening Day roster. He came to Spring Training as a non-roster invite, but had a ton of hype that went all the way to the top of the organization.

Right around the time the Twins traded Jorge Polanco to Seattle, Thad Levine went out of his way to let everyone know just how highly he thought of Lee. The Polanco trade wasn’t made as a direct result of Lee’s eventual arrival on the MLB roster, but it was something that certainly factored into the decision.

“When he tells us he’s ready to go, we’re going to get him up in the big leagues,” Levine said back in January.

Derek Falvey followed that up a month later by saying Lee was getting close to being major league ready, which suggested he could be in line to get a 26-man roster spot right away.

Twins confirm Brooks Lee’s debut will have to wait until after Opening Day

That will have to wait, though, as the Twins confirmed that Lee won’t be part of the initial big league roster. Minnesota reassigned Lee to minor league camp on Friday as part of its latest round of roster cuts, ending any hope that he’ll be around on Opening Day.

This doesn’t, however, mean Lee won’t be part of the Twins’ plans soon. He’s next-in-line alongside Austin Martin in terms of minor leaguers who will get called up, and he’s seemingly just an injury away from making his debut.

Last year we saw a similar trajectory for Edouard Julien, who didn’t make the Opening Day roster but got called up in April when Joey Gallo hit the IL with an injury. Julien and the Twins never looked back, and he’s now a vital part of the everyday lineup.

That could be what we see happen with Lee. He exited his final Spring Training game on Thursday with back spasms, but that didn’t seem to factor into this decision. It was a long shot that he’d make the Opening Day roster, but this allows him time to start his year at Triple-A and fully polish himself before finally making the leap to the majors.

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