Twins’ Royce Lewis, eligible to return on Monday, ‘tracking in a really good direction’
Rehabbing in St. Paul, Lewis has played shortstop and third base
Derek Falvey stopped short of declaring the team’s intentions for infielder Royce Lewis once he’s eligible to come off the injured list on Monday. They haven’t even communicated to Lewis whether or not he’ll be coming with them on their upcoming road trip to Houston, Falvey said.
But the Minnesota Twins’ president of baseball operations sounded fairly optimistic about the progress that Lewis has made, saying he had “checked every box” during his rehab process.
“I think the key for us is just to make sure he’s healthy and responding well every day,” Falvey said. “He keeps saying that he feels really good. And so the progression is well-built. It’s in consultation with the surgeons and the medical staff and then the coaches, so I think he’s tracking in a really good direction. That’s all we can ask for.”
Lewis, who is rehabbing from his second anterior cruciate ligament surgery in his right knee, was transferred to the 60-day injured list before the season started, which is why he is not yet eligible to return. With his rehab assignment going well and Lewis now healthy, the decision could rest on the current fit on the roster.
The 23-year-old entered the day hitting .333 with a 1.083 OPS and three home runs in six games with the Saints. Lewis, who was drafted as a shortstop, has been splitting time between shortstop and third base and has not been sent back out to the outfield.
Should he come back on Monday, it would be exactly a year from the day Lewis crashed into the wall in center field, suffering the injury.
“When we started his rehab protocol, we said to him, ‘Listen: What we need you to focus on is exactly where your feet are right now. Wherever that is, whether it’s in Fort Myers, that’s in Wichita, that’s in St. Paul. And that should be your focus every day.’ I want to carry that through, all the way to the end,” Falvey said. “ … He’s got to play today. He’s got to play tomorrow. That’s part of the plan and he should focus on that. Then we’ll have a decision at the end of his rehab that we’ll make at that time.”
Carlos Correa was back in the starting lineup Friday after missing two games with a strain in his left heel as well as plantar fasciitis. The shortstop tested out his foot pregame, after which he was cleared to play.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said he dealt with plantar fasciitis during his playing career, as well, for one season. He called it “excruciating” and said when he woke up in the morning, he couldn’t walk.
He was able to play through it, though, as Correa is doing. Baldelli said the condition went away after he sat “on my butt when the season ended for a month,” and he said he never felt it again.
“There’s treatments now that you can do on it that no one really had at that point,” Baldelli said. “There’s different things that can be done but it’s tolerance, really, for many — not everyone, but for a lot of people that deal with it.”
Twins for Baldellis
The Twins’ skipper will have more twins to manage later this year.
Baldelli’s wife, Allie, announced on social media earlier this week that the couple is expecting a pair of boys come September, sharing a series of photos of their one-year-old daughter, Louisa, holding ultrasound photos next to their dog, Bowie.
“We’ve known for a little while and we’ve been kind of quietly preparing and have shared it here and there but we’re really excited,” Baldelli said. “There’s going to be a lot going on. There’s a lot to come and I think a lot of smiles, too.”
Caleb Thielbar (oblique strain) and Kenta Maeda (triceps strain) are set to start rehab assignments with the Triple-A Saints on Tuesday in Buffalo. … Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, both sidelined with a hamstring strain, hit pregame on the field on Friday.
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