Twins might be making the wrong roster move to make room for Royce Lewis

The Twins might be making a big mistake with how they're making room for Royce Lewis on the MLB roster.
Texas Rangers v Minnesota Twins
Texas Rangers v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

Sunday was a strange mix of emotion for Minnesota Twins fans, who watched a 4-3 win over the Astros get chased by what appears to be news that Edouard Julien is getting demoted.

Royce Lewis is set to return to Minnesota's lineup this week and while nothing has been made official all signs point toward Julien being the player who will lose his roster spot in order to make room. Star Tribune beat writer Phil Miller was among a handful of Twins reporters who noted that Julien was seen hugging his teammates after getting called into Rocco Baldelli's office after Sunday's game.

The move is a bit of a stunner. Julien was certainly not playing his best ball but was far from being at the top of anyone's list when it came to players who might get moved to make room for Lewis. He went hitless in Sunday's win, dropping his batting average to .206 which could make sending him to St. Paul a blessing in disguise.

With Lewis returning, the Twins could essentially double up on offensive firepower if Julien can work on getting back to the guy he was last year while in St. Paul. There'a a long-term benefit to making this move, but it's also a decision that wasn't completely neccessary especially when there were at least two other moves that could -- and perhaps should -- have been made instead.

Twins optioning Edouard Julien puts pressure on Kyle Farmer to turn things around

Julien going to St. Paul makes sense in terms of giving him a chance to reset his offense a bit, but it also means the Twins are passing up a chance to make one of two other potentially impactful moves.

Kyle Farmer and Manuel Margot have both struggled mightily this year. Minnesota traded for Margot as insurance for Byron Buxton with the idea he'd help add more offense than if the team had brought back Michael A. Taylor. So far that looks like a bad bet, as Margot mercifully got his batting average above .200 during this last stretch but is hardly the power hitter the Twins thought he'd be.

Things are even worse for Farmer, who is hitting .163 and doesn't appear to have a clear role with the team. Willi Castro has been getting starts at shortstop when Carlos Correa takes days off, and the resurgence of Jose Miranda has forced Farmer out of third base duties.

Even if there was an obvious defensive fit for him, Farmer's struggles at the plate make him virtually unplayable. Further complicating matters is his contract; the Twins tendered Farmer last November and instead of trading him handed out a $6 million contract to keep him around.

That move essentially acted as a free agent signing, as it was the most expensive contract Minnesota added to its books in an offseason where the payroll was slashed by $30 million. It's also something that seems to be factoring into the team's decision to option Julien over Farmer.

Optioning Julien is nothing to take lightly, but moving Farmer likely would have resulted in him getting DFA'd and refusing the assignment. The choice seemed to be send Julien down or release either Farmer or Margot, with the former being the obvious candidate in that scenario.

It doesn't seem like the Twins are prepared to move on from Farmer just yet, but it's something they're going to have to reckon with in the near future. This is a dance Minnesota will have to do again when Brooks Lee gets called up, and Farmer likely has until then to turn things around otherwise he might not survive another major roster move.

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