What will the Twins lineup look like when Royce Lewis returns?

Not only will Minnesota be getting one of the best players in baseball back, but the ways Royce Lewis returning changes the lineup is pretty significant.
Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

It’s been over a month since Minnesota Twins fans watched Royce Lewis play baseball, but it seems like the wait might soon be over. 

Lewis hit a home run in his first at-bat of the season but then suffered a quad injury that has sidelined him since the third inning of Opening Day. It was a cruel twist of fate, as Lewis was getting hyped as a dark horse MVP candidate but fell into the same pit of injury doom that so many other Twins stars have. 

There’s still no exact timeline for his return, but it seems like he’s on the right track to return soon. Lewis is rehabbing on his own and will hopefully be in line to start seeing some action in St. Paul before triumphantly returning to the MLB roster. 

When he does, the Twins will have more than just a star young player back. Lewis returning to the lineup will present Rocco Baldelli with a few different ways he can approach putting the lineup together on a given day. 

Predicting the Twins lineup when Royce Lewis returns

There are a few different ways the lineup could look with Lewis back, which is one of the main reasons the Twins should be looking forward to his return. Ideally he’s healthy enough to return to the field and resume his role as the team’s everyday third baseman. 

In this scenario the Twins can juggle what happens at the DH slot, as Alex Kirilloff and Edouard Julien could fill that role while opening up defensive positions in a given lineup.

  • 1B: Carlos Santana // Alex Kirilloff
  • 2B: Edouard Julien
  • 3B: Royce Lewis
  • SS: Carlos Correa
  • RF: Max Kepler
  • CF: Byron Buxton
  • LF: Trevor Larnach
  • C: Ryan Jeffers
  • DH: Alex Kirilloff // Ryan Jeffers // Edouard Julien

That’s a pretty solid lineup right there, one that’s even better if Santana can find the power Minnesota thought he’d be bringing. What makes it even better is how it emphasizes how deep the bench is with talent. Someone will need to get sent down, but if Jose Miranda stays up to help take the load off Lewis at third, Minnesota will have his bat as well as Trevor Larnach and potentially Brooks Lee. 

Again, moves will need to be made to make room, but the point is this is the dream lineup that presents a ton of fantastic options. 

It’s not the only option, though. Lewis playing the field is ideal, but if he comes back and the Twins want to play him at DH then there are a few ways the lineup can get pieced together. 

  • 1B: Carlos Santana
  • 2B: Edouard Julien
  • 3B: Jose Miranda
  • SS: Carlos Correa
  • RF: Max Kepler
  • CF: Byron Buxton
  • LF: Alex Kirilloff
  • C: Ryan Jeffers
  • DH: Royce Lewis

Even in this scenario the Twins have some great bench options to pepper in, and this isn’t even accounting for potential moves the team could make at the trade deadline.

Minnesota doesn’t have to make trades to spike the roster with some new talent, as Brooks Lee and Emmanuel Rodriguez very well could make their debuts this season, and there’s hope that Matt Wallner is figuring things out and will be able to contribute as well. 

Things might not be great for the Twins at the moment, and leaning on in-house talent is a crutch that annoyed everyone this winter, but the future is bright. Lewis coming back obviously makes the lineup better, but the options he gives the team by being back make the deal even sweeter. 

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