After a week of whiplash for Minnesota twins fans, it feels like the team might be back on the upswing as we near the final stretch of the season.
Whatever happens, the Twins will at least be getting back one of their best young players as the postseason chase begins to tighten. On Tuesday the team officially welcomed Royce Lewis back from the injured list and will have him available for an upcoming series against Detroit.
Lewis has missed the last 36 games after being placed on the IL back at the beginning of July with an oblique strain. The injury cut into what had otherwise been a tremendous reintroduction for the former No. 1 overall pick, who bounced back from two ACL injuries to make his second debut with the Twins back in May.
Since arriving at the Major League level, Lewis has been absolutely critical to the Twins success. He single-handily won a game in Houston with his offense, which came at a time when Minnesota’s bats were deafeningly quiet.
Now that he’s back, he not only brings a powerful bat to the lineup but joins a young core of players who have started to accelerate their growth in his absence. Specifically, the Twins having both Lewis and Edouard Julien in the same lineup is music to the ears of fans who haven’t heard much crack of the bat this season.
Twins News: Royce Lewis activated from IL, but at a cost
Activating Lewis comes at a price, though. To make room the Twins made a corresponding move to place utilityman Willi Castro on the 15-day IL.
Castro’s injury is being classified as a ‘mild oblique strain’, and it’s unclear when he’ll be back with the club. Much like Lewis, Castro is expected to complete a rehab assignment at Triple-A St. Paul before returning to the Twins, at which point another move will need to be made to make room.
For now, the Twins can focus on what they have at their disposal and what they have is potential dynamite. Lewis and Julien have been electric at the plate this season, and Matt Wallner could help make for a young trio of hot hitters for the Twins as they move through the rest of August.
It’s impossible to overstate how important getting Lewis back in the lineup is. He’s slashing .326/.354/.474 in just 26 games this season, with four home runs and 131 wRC+. Minnesota holds a 4.5 game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central, which means there’s no time like the present to start finally running away with the division and setting up shop for potentially ending a long standing October slump.