The Twins announced that infielder Royce Lewis has been placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to September 21, due to a left hamstring strain. Outfielder/first baseman Jordan Luplow was recalled in a corresponding move.
Lewis, 24, has had a stop-and-start career to this point, flashing incredible talent in between injury absences. The former first overall pick underwent surgery for a torn ACL in his right knee last year, the second time he’s endured that awful injury, and missed the first couple of months of this season. He returned in late May and had about a month on the active roster before returning to the IL due to an oblique strain. He was activated in mid-August but is now back on the IL yet again, this time due to the hamstring issue.
Around those various injuries, the results have been excellent. He has hit .309/.372/.548 in 239 plate appearances this year for a wRC+ of 154, indicating he’s been 54% better than the league average hitter. He’s also stolen six bases and been given solid grades for his third base defense.
The Twins are 8.5 games up on the Guardians and nine games ahead of the Tigers in the Central, making them a virtual lock to win the division. Since they are cruising towards a postseason berth, it seems they are trying to rest up some of their key contributors for their eventual postseason appearance. In addition to Lewis, shortstop Carlos Correa was also placed on the injured list this week, with plantar fasciitis being the culprit in his case. Both players have enough time to be eligible to return for the playoffs, hopefully with their respective health conditions improved. Byron Buxton and Joey Gallo are also X-factors, with both players currently on rehab assignments.
As for Luplow, it was announced by the club earlier this week that he had been designated for assignment to open an active roster spot for Michael A. Taylor to be reinstated from the IL. However, MLBTR’s Steve Adams reports that Luplow wound up optioned instead. As a player with more than five years of service time, he had to consent to the option and did. It seems he hung onto his 40-man roster spot, allowing him to be recalled today.