loading

  About 4 minutes reading time.

Twins put INF Lewis on IL with ‘severe quad strain,’ call up prospect Martin to help

 WBN  |    Mar 30th, 2024 3:07pm EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Minnesota Twins put oft-injured infielder Royce Lewis on the injured list with what the club called “a severe quad strain” on Saturday, and the reigning AL Central champions are preparing to be without him for more than a month.

Lewis strained his right quad while rounding the bases on opening day Thursday against the Kansas City Royals. It is the fifth time the former No. 1 overall draft pick has been put on the IL in just over two seasons as a big leaguer, which includes two torn ACLs in his right knee, an oblique injury and a hamstring injury.

“It’s significant enough he’s going to have some significant time down,” said Derek Falvey, the Twins’ president of baseball operations. “It’s difficult, you know, not just because of Game 1, but because of how much work he’s put in, and how much time and effort. His offseason was great. I’ve never seen him in as good of shape as he’s in right now.

“So, these things happen,” Falvey said, “in all sports. And it’s really unfortunate. He prepared better than anybody.”

The 24-year-old Lewis, who had raised hopes in Minnesota of a breakthrough when he made it through spring training without any problems, has been exceptional when he has been healthy. He’s hit .313 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs in just 71 games.

In fact, Lewis homered in his first at-bat in the Twin’s 4-1 win over the Royals on Thursday. He singled again in the third inning, and he was rounding second on a double by Carlos Correa when he came up hobbling.

“I mean, you feel terrible for Royce having to deal with this after everything else he’s gone through. You feel bad for the team as well,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “You know, we got three innings out of him. And it was a pretty amazing contribution. I mean, he was one of the biggest reasons we win the game, and then we find out we’re going to lose him for a while.”

The Twins called up Austin Martin, one of their top prospects, to provide some depth. But the immediate plan was to use Willi Castro, who was in the lineup Saturday, and Kyle Farmer to handle third base duties.

“I’m ready to go,” Martin said. “I’m looking forward to, you know, the day I’m able to get to touch the field and play. And like I’ve said, the goal here is to just try to help this team win as many games as it can.”

Martin has overcome a series of injuries, too. He’s had ligament injuries in each of his elbows the past two seasons.

“I haven’t done too much reflection,” said Martin, who hit .263 with six homers and 28 RBIs while spending most of last season at Triple-A St. Paul. “Just kind of been in the moment, trying to stay with that mindset on this.”

In other news, the Twins announced that right-hander Anthony DeSclafani underwent surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his forearm and would miss the entire season. DeSclafani was expected to fill out the back of the rotation before he was diagnosed with a right elbow strain in March and placed on the 60-day IL before the season.

DeSclafani was 4-8 with a 4.88 ERA in 19 appearances for San Francisco last season, though he did not pitch after July 23 due to a forearm strain. He was traded to Seattle in January, then sent to the Twins in a deal three weeks later.

Falvey said that the recovery time for similar procedures is about 13 months. De

“It’s not a Tommy John, so it’s a little different type of return,” Falvey said. “I think when he went there, we knew that was in consideration, and I think a lot of the conversation was around, is it the ligament or the UCL (in the elbow). It ended up being the flexor tendon that needed to be repaired.”

Falvey said the Twins would look at internal options to fill out the rotation, even though their pitching depth already has taken a hit. Right-handers Jhoan Duran (right oblique strain), Josh Staumont (left calf strain), Justin Topa (left patellar tendinitis) and Zack Weiss (right shoulder strain) along with left-hander Caleb Thielbar (left hamstring strain) began the season on the IL.

“I feel like we’ve got a group that we’re going to count on,” Falvey said, “but we’ll always keep an eye open for new options, too.”

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb