What will happen to Jose Miranda when Royce Lewis returns to Twins lineup?

Jose Miranda has earned a spot on the MLB roster, but how will the return of Royce Lewis impact his future?
Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins
Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages
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So much has already happened with the Minnesota Twins that it's almost hard to believe the season is only two months old. In that time it feels like the team has lived through mulitple seasons, probably because of the up-and-down streakieness we've see so far.

The Twins went on a 12-game winning streak that was bookended by losing streaks of five or more games. Royce Lewis played three innings before hitting the IL and is only now working his way back. Pablo Lopez is uncharacteristically struggling while Joe Ryan and Simeon Woods Richardson are both shining bright.

We're not even to June yet and all of that is just scratching the surface of what has happened with the Twins. Among the most surprising plot twists is how Jose Miranda has done a complete about face and turned back into the player everyone thought he'd be after his 2022 debut.

Miranda fell on hard times last year, battling through injury and poor play which resulted in him losing his starting job and getting pushed to the edge of the roster bubble. He's come storming back this season, though, and it's created a wonderful problem for the Twins to sort out in the near future.

Jose Miranda has earned a spot in the Twins lineup even after Royce Lewis returns

Royce Lewis seems to be nearing a return to the Twins lineup, to the extent that he might be literally trying to run before he walks. While Lewis is going rogue and stealing bases in St. Paul, Miranda has been on the MLB roster tearing things up the way everyone was hoping he might.

So far this season Miranda is slashing .278/.311/.460 with a .771 OPS in 39 games. He's reguarly been featured in the starting lineup and has firmly re-established himself as a meaningful piece of the future.

That begs the question of what happens to him when Lewis returns.

Lewis is going to be resume his duties as the everyday third baseman, especially since the Twins need his bat in the lineup. Minnesota also arguably needs Miranda's bat too, which creates a wonderful puzzle for Rocco Baldelli to piece together.

Assuming Lewis is back at third, Miranda could switch over the first base if the Twins want to feature him regularly. This would alllow Alex Kirilloff to both platoon with Miranda while also spending time in the outfield rotation.

Kirilloff's flexibility could relieve the stress of two struggling hitters: Carlos Santana and Manuel Margot. Both veterans have largely been busts offensively with Margot surprisingly being a defensive liability at times.

Santana has been getting work at first base over the last month but the Twins could switch him out for the combo of Kirilloff and Miranda while potentially using Santana as the DH moving forward. Of course, that designated hitter role could be filled by Edouard Julien which would clear space for Brooks Lee to take over at second base when he eventually make his debut.

That's getting way ahead of ourselves, but you start to see just how bright the future is and how Miranda's bounce back opens up some aweome possibilities for the Twins.

Zooming back in on Miranda's role moving forward, the most logical place for him is either in the DH role or getting worked into a first base platoon. That would give the Twins a potentially dynamite lineup:

1B

Alex Kirilloff

Jose Miranda

Carlos Santana

2B

Edouard Julien

Kyle Farmer

3B

Royce Lewis

Jose Miranda

Kyle Farmer

SS

Carlos Correa

Kyle Farmer

Willi Castro

RF

Max Kepler

Trevor Larnach

Alex Kirilloff

CF

Byron Buxton

Willi Castro

Manuel Margot

LF

Trevor Larnach

Alex Kirilloff

Willi Castro

C

Ryan Jeffers

Christian Vazquez

Most of those guys could get cycled into as the designated hitter on a given day, but Miranda could primarily fill the role while getting swapped into the field. If Lewis or Kirilloff are the DH, Miranda could replace them defensively, and the same goes for putting Kirilloff in the outfield.

The point is, there's not one way to approach the future with Miranda and it's impossible to overstate how awesome this development is.

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