How will the Twins replace Royce Lewis if he misses time with quad injury?

If Royce Lewis needs to spend time on the IL, Minnesota has some options to replace him with.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

Things got off to a rough start for the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day.

While the Twins logged a 4-1 win over the Royals, part of the price paid was losing Royce Lewis to a quad injury. Lewis homered in his first at bat but needed to exit after hurting himself rounding second on an RBI double by Carlos Correa.

Initially it was inclear what Lewis had injured, but the Twins later confirmed it was a quad injury that would require further evaluation. MRI results are pending but it's looking like Lewis is going to miss at least a little bit of time to start the season.

How much time is yet to be seen, but the Twins need to be prepared to move forward without Lewis in the picture. Even if he's not going to need a stint on the IL, Minnesota would be wise to rest Lewis for at least the next week and see where he's at when the team returns to Target Field for its home opener on April 4th.

If Lewis misses extended time, the Twins have a few intriguing ways to replace him that could end up having a long-term impact on the roster.

Is this an opportunity for Jose Miranda to redeem himself?

Last year was a brutal one for Jose Miranda. He followed up an incredible rookie season by cratering so hard that it seemed like he might have worn out his welcome entirely. Luckily that didn't happen, and instead he turned in a rather impressive spring that suggests he could still have a future on the Twins major league roster.

Miranda finished Spring Training slashing .320/.393/.360 with a .753 OPS, which is along the lines of where he was at back in 2022. That year he hit .335 and drove in 37 RBI in just 50 games between early-May to late-July.

His performance down in Fort Myers suggests he might be closer to the guy we saw two years ago and not the one who was plagued by poor offense and even worse defense while getting dragged down by injuries.

There's one way to find out.

If Lewis is going to miss time, Miranda feels like an prime candidate to get called up. It would provide him with an opportunity to prove himself and could result in the Twins having yet another young player to try and work into the lineup. Worst case scenario is that Miranda regresses and becomes a liability again, but at least the Twins will have given it a shot.

He might need some more time to get right at Triple-A, but he naturally fills in at third base and makes for an easy lineup transition as Lewis' replacement. There's also something poetic about Miranda getting his shot while Lewis is injured after losing his role to Lewis last year while batting injuries of his own.

Call up Austin Martin

When Spring Training started it, Austin Martin seemed to have a pretty clear path to the Opening Day roster. Minnesota acquiring Manuel Margot essentially ended all hope of that, but it was more of a speed bump than a roadblock.

Martin is arguably the next-man-up for getting the call if the Twins need an injury replacement. We were all hoping it might come later than Opening Day and not involve Royce Lewis, but here we are. It's a perfect scenario for Martin to make his debut and provide some silver lining to an otherwise terrible situation.

Unlike Miranda, there wouldn't be as clean of a lineup swap if Martin joins the MLB roster. He's not a third baseman, but he can play at second which would offer the chance for the Twins to platoon him with Edouard Julien. This branches off into potential options at first base too, as Rocco Baldelli would suddenly have three players he could slot in at first -- Julien, Carlos Santana, or Alex Kirilloff -- while being able to keep another guy from that group in the lineup as DH while Martin plays second.

As far as replacing Lewis, the Twins could platoon Kyle Farmer and Willi Castro and fill the gap. Both players were in the lineup on Opening Day and it would give the Twins a chance to truly get their money's worth out of Farmer's arbitration settlement.

The most ideal scenario is that Lewis misses a week and is back in action for the home opener, since all of these moves would require him hitting the IL. If Lewis keeps his roster spot, then the platoon of Farmer/Castro at third would suffice for the time being.

At the very least, for as bad as the situation seems the Twins have some interesting options that could help them navigate a Lewis-less few weeks.

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