Thursday, April 18, 2024

Royce Lewis injury: Twins third baseman leaves Opening Day game early with quad injury running the bases

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The Minnesota Twins started their season with a victory on Thursday, defeating the Kansas City Royals by a 4-1 final (box score). Unfortunately, they may have suffered a few key losses in the process.

Royce Lewis, who started at third base, recorded two hits (including a solo home run) before having to exit the game in the third inning after suffering what the team called a quad injury running the bases. Here’s a look at the play on which he suffered the injury:

It’s unclear at present if Lewis will require a stint on the injured list — and, if so, how long he’ll be out. He underwent imaging after the game and was awaiting the results.

Lewis was subsequently replaced at the hot corner by starting second baseman Kyle Farmer. Farmer, meanwhile, was replaced at the keystone by Edouard Julien, who did not receive the start on Thursday on account of the Twins facing tough left-hander Cole Ragans.

Lewis, 24, has been brilliant when healthy during his young career. Alas, he’s dealt with a slew of injuries that have limited his impact. He entered Thursday with 70 big-league games under his belt, over which he’s batted .307/.364/.549 (149 OPS+) with 17 home runs and 2.8 Wins Above Replacement. 

Lewis has posted those marks despite suffering torn ACLs in both 2021 and 2022. He then required a pair of injured list stints last season because of his oblique and hamstring.

Meanwhile, the Twins also saw starting outfielder Max Kepler leave Thursday’s contest after fouling a ball off his leg. Kepler finished out his at-bat before being replaced by Matt Wallner. His X-rays were negative but Baldelli said they would see how he feels Saturday.

If the Twins do need to make a roster move, they have a few notable options at hand. Former first-round pick Austin Martin is on the 40-player roster already. Conversely, the Twins could make a move to add Brooks Lee, who CBS Sports recently ranked as the 15th prospect in the minor leagues.

The Twins will have Friday off before resuming their series against the Royals on Saturday.

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