The Twins have activated corner outfielder Alex Kirilloff from the 10-day injured list, the team announced. They’ve also confirmed the previously-reported promotion of top prospect Royce Lewis to make his big league debut and recalled rookie right-hander Cole Sands. In corresponding moves, Minnesota placed Dylan Bundy and Luis Arraez on the COVID-19 injured list and optioned left-hander Jovani Moran to Triple-A St. Paul.
Kirilloff has been out of action for around three weeks after experiencing some inflammation in his right wrist. That was a worrisome development considering he’d had a surgery that ended his 2021 season on that joint last July. This latest injury didn’t turn out to be too problematic, however, and Kirilloff figures to step back into the everyday lineup.
A former first-round pick and top hitting prospect, Kirilloff tallied his first 231 big league plate appearances last season. He hit a slightly below-average .251/.299/.423, showcasing an intriguing combination of power and bat-to-ball skills but something of an overaggressive approach at the plate. Kirilloff has always been a bit of a free swinger, but the Twins are no doubt bullish on his ability to overcome a fairly low walk rate based on his excellent track record in the minors. He’s been limited to five games this season, with another recent top prospect Trevor Larnach getting the bulk of the work in left field while he’s been on the shelf.
There’s still a path for Larnach to get playing time at first base or designated hitter — or perhaps to kick Kirilloff to first and keep Larnach in left — with Miguel Sanó suffering a meniscus tear that required surgery. Arraez had been playing a fair bit at first, but he and Bundy tested positive for the virus yesterday. Minnesota had already called up top infield prospect José Miranda when Sanó landed on the IL, and Lewis became the next highly-regarded youngster to join the team.
Lewis’ reported promotion was spurred by fear that Carlos Correa would miss time after injuring his finger in last night’s game. Initial x-rays indicated the star shortstop might’ve suffered a fracture, but further testing today revealed only bruising and inflammation. Correa isn’t going on the injured list at the moment, but he’s not in tonight’s lineup. Lewis gets the nod at shortstop against the A’s.