Twins place Royce Lewis on IL, but call up a top prospect to replace him

Royce Lewis is heading to the IL, but a top Twins prospect is set to take his place in the lineup.
Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins v Kansas City Royals / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

Minnesota Twins fans have already been through a roller coaster of emotions, and the team has only played one game this season.

Opening Day saw the Twins notch their first win of the season, but it also saw the team lose Royce Lewis to a right quad injury. He came up limping in the third inning, needing to leave the game and undergo an MRI to determine how serious the injury was.

This all came after Lewis started the game by hitting a home run in his first at bat of the season. So Twins fans went from that high to watching him leave the game without knowing when he'll be back in the lineup.

We still don't know exactly how long he'll be out, but it will require a stint on the IL -- something we were all hoping wouldn't be the case.

On Saturday the Twins confirmed that Lewis would need to be placed on the IL, which is exactly not what anyone wanted to hear. There was a chaser, however, that lessens the blow; Austin Martin is getting called up and will make his MLB debut as the injury replacement for Lewis.

It was looking like Martin could earn an Opening Day roster spot if he had a solid spring, but that dream ended when the Twins traded for Manuel Margot. It was a speed bump, rather than a road block, as all signs pointed toward Martin being the next-man-up for the Twins if any tweaks needed to be made to the linup after the season started.

That's the exact sceanrio we're in now, which is similar to what happened to another top prospect last year.

Max Kepler needed to hit the IL in early April, and the corresponding move was to call up Edouard Julien. We all know what happened after that and how important Julien has become to the Twins core.

That could be the case with Martin, who has finally found his way to the majors and might not look back. The only downside is that his opportunity comes at the expense of Lewis, however this creates a scenario where the Twins could have both guys in the same lineup in the near future.

As far as how Martin fits, the expectation is that he'll fill in at second base while Kyle Farmer and Willi Castro platoon over at third. There's also a chance Martin plays out in centerfield to give Byron Buxton days off while the Twins move Margot to one of the corner outfield spots.

With Martin at second, the Twins can put Edouard Julien's bat in the lineup as DH while Carlos Santana mans first base until Alex Kirilloff is healthy enough to jump back into the mix.

Losing Lewis is obviously terribly and not at all optimal, but it's a temporary setback that could end up making the Twins roster even better than it was when the season started.

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