Lewis back with Twins, exits after hitting CF wall

Royce Lewis is back in the majors with the Minnesota Twins and will be tasked with helping out at multiple positions, not just his traditional spot at shortstop.

His debut in center field Sunday ended early, however, after he made a catch in the top of the third inning while colliding into the outfield wall. He was removed from the game because of right knee soreness in the top of the fourth inning with Nick Gordon taking over in center field.

Lewis was 0-for-1 before exiting the game against the Kansas City Royals.

The first-place Twins recalled Lewis from Triple-A St. Paul before Sunday’s game, optioning infielder Jose Miranda to Triple-A in a corresponding move.

Lewis played in 11 games for the Twins when Carlos Correa was sidelined and hit .308 with four doubles, two homers and five RBIs while playing shortstop. When Correa returned and Lewis was sent back to the minors, the Twins had him work at other positions besides shortstop so he can contribute in the majors. He played at shortstop, third base, center field and left field at Triple-A in his past 10 games.

“He was up for everything. Infield, outfield and bouncing around, and now we’re seeing him back here and able to help us in some different ways,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said before Sunday’s game.

Lewis said before the game that learning new positions has been “fun.”

Lewis, 22, was the No. 1 overall pick by the Twins in the 2017 draft. This is his first season back on the field in two years. After a year without minor league competition in 2020 due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lewis then tore the ACL in his right knee while doing an agility drill in an offseason workout before reporting to spring training last year. He sat out the entire 2021 season recovering from reconstructive surgery.

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