3:57pm: In excellent news for the Twins, president of baseball operations Derek Falvey revealed to reporters (including Dan Hayes of the Athletic) that the CT scan revealed no fracture in Correa’s hand. He has been diagnosed with a bruise and is day-to-day. Falvey suggested Correa might even avoid the injured list altogether (via Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com), although he’s dealing with continued soreness and inflammation.
The team is still promoting former first overall pick Royce Lewis to make his major league debut, Falvey said (via Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press). Minnesota was planning to promote Lewis in anticipation of an IL stint for Correa. They’ll follow through on the call-up even as Correa remains on the active roster for now.
8:47am: Preliminary X-rays reveal what appears to be a non-displaced fracture in Carlos Correa’s right middle finger, the Twins announced following the team’s 5-3 loss to the Orioles on Thursday. The star shortstop, who the Twins signed to a shock 3-year, $105.3MM contract this offseason, will undergo a CT scan today to confirm the nature of the injury.
Correa appears to have sustained the injury in the seventh inning while attempting to check his swing against a Bryan Baker change-up. He had also been hit by a pitch in his previous plate appearance (a Spenser Watkins fastball glanced off his left wrist), but the pitch that appears to have caused the injury actually resulted in a ground-out after trickling into fair territory.
If the CT scan confirms the initial diagnosis, Correa shouldn’t require surgery, though it isn’t yet clear how much time he’ll miss. Utility-man Nick Gordon took over for Correa following the injury, but manager Rocco Baldelli (or, while Baldelli is away from the team after testing positive for COVID, bench coach Jayce Tingler) could also turn to Jorge Polanco, which would likely place Luis Arraez in an everyday role at second base. Third baseman Gio Urshela has also logged some time at short in his big-league career, though it’s unlikely he’d be considered more than a short-term option.
Should Correa miss any significant time, the Twins could also turn to top prospect (and top overall pick in the 2017 draft) Royce Lewis, who’s off to a blistering .310/.427/.560 start at Triple-A St. Paul across 103 plate appearances to open the season. The club may not wish to rush Lewis, though, particularly given that until April he hadn’t seen game action — or played above Double-A — since 2019 after tearing his ACL ahead of the 2021 season.
While the Twins will obviously hope to have Correa back as quickly as possible, he has gotten off to something of a slow start in his new uniform. Even after roaring out of the gate in May (1.036 OPS in a four-game sample), Correa’s 2022 .264/.323/.385 batting line falls well short of his career triple-slash of .276/.355/.478, particularly in the power department. Given the likelihood that he’ll opt out of the final two years of his deal at the end of the season (even after signaling that he’s open to a long-term deal in the Twin Cities), the first-place Twins will hope to see him return to the field — and revert to form — sooner than later.