Twins infielder Jose Miranda, who’s been out more than two months with an impingement in his right shoulder, is headed for a pre-surgery consultation today and expected to undergo a surgical procedure tomorrow, reports Dan Hayes of The Athletic. The Twins have yet to make any kind of formal announcement or divulge specifics on the forthcoming procedure, but they’ll surely have an update once it’s been completed.
Miranda, 25, had a strong showing as a rookie in 2022, finishing his debut campaign with a .268/.325/.426 batting line, 15 home runs and 25 doubles in 483 plate appearances. That includes a woeful stretch at the plate during his initial call to the big leagues; Miranda posted a much heartier .286/.346/.451 line with 14 of his 15 long balls in 413 trips to the plate following a brief demotion to Triple-A.
That performance understandably locked Miranda into a starting job to begin the 2023 season, but his production was a shell of his 2022 output. Miranda hit just .220/.275/.318 before being optioned to Triple-A St. Paul in mid-May, and his .225/.326/.360 showing in the minors following that demotion wasn’t much better. The Twins summoned Miranda back to the Majors in July when Royce Lewis was injured, but he went just 1-for-10 before landing on the injured list himself.
Given this year’s pronounced drop-off in production and the revelation of a looming surgery, it’s fair to wonder whether Miranda was ever at 100% this season. Notably, he withdrew from the 2023 World Baseball Classic due to shoulder discomfort early in spring training. The young slugger was touted as a bat-first prospect throughout his rise through the Twins’ system, scorching Double-A opponents at a .352/.413/.593 clip in 2021 before moving up to Triple-A and hitting .343/.397/.563 in 80 games at that level. If this year’s downturn did indeed stem from a balky shoulder, there’s hope for him to turn things around in the future.
Looking ahead, however, Miranda’s role with the Twins is far cloudier than it was heading into the season. Lewis, the 2017 No. 1 overall pick, returned from a second ACL tear in as many years and has run with the third base job, slashing .306/.356/.528 with a dozen homers in 51 games. He’s now batting .305/.349/.532 through his first 249 MLB plate appearances. Across the diamond, Alex Kirilloff has again battled some injuries in 2023 but has produced nicely when healthy, hitting .266/.352/.430 in 270 plate appearances.
Miranda hasn’t played much second base since his time in the low minors, but that spot is spoken for in Minnesota anyhow, with Twins stalwart Jorge Polanco hitting .260/.341/.461 this season. The Twins hold a $10.5MM option over Polanco that feels like a lock to be picked up. Minnesota will also be mixing rookie Edouard Julien in at second base, first base and designated hitter, after the burgeoning young OBP machine has batted .273/.383/.457 with 12 homers and a gaudy 14.8% walk rate in his first 338 MLB plate appearances.
Miranda still has a minor league option remaining beyond the current season, so there’s time yet for him to play his way back into the team’s plans. But the Minnesota infield has become much more crowded since that strong rookie season, with the emergence of Lewis and Julien, the return of Kirilloff and the re-signing of Carlos Correa on a six-year contract. Having so much infield depth is obviously a good “problem” for the Twins to have, but the increased depth at the big league level and this problematic shoulder injury both mar Miranda’s path back to a prominent role at Target Field. He’s still under club control through the 2028 season.