10:17am: Bench coach/interim manager Jayce Tingler (Rocco Baldelli is away from the club after his wife recently gave birth — to twins, no less) and head trainer Nick Paparesta told reporters that they’re confident Correa will be ready for the beginning of the postseason (via Bobby Nightengale of the Minneapolis Star Tribune). Lewis, meanwhile, will undergo an MRI on his hamstring when the team returns to Minnesota this weekend (via Dan Hayes of The Athletic).
9:47am: The Twins announced Wednesday that they’ve placed shortstop Carlos Correa on the 10-day injured list. Correa was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in his left foot back in May and has been playing through the injury throughout the 2023 season. It flared up earlier this week and forced him from Monday’s game in Cincinnati. He’ll be sidelined through at least next Friday now. Outfielder Trevor Larnach is up from Triple-A St. Paul to take his spot on the active roster.
Correa, 28, hit .291/.366/.467 in his first season with the Twins last year but has seen his production dip to .230/.312/.399 in 2023 while playing through that ailment. He’s still played strong defense at shortstop, and that batting line is “only” about four percent shy of league average, by measure of wRC+, but Minnesota clearly had higher hopes for the former Platinum Glove winner and two-time All-Star when signing him to a six-year, $200MM contract over the winter. Notably, the plantar fasciitis is in Correa’s left foot, which is not the same foot/leg that sparked the considerable offseason drama, led to multiple failed physicals, and eventually paved the way for his return to the Twins.
The timing of the injury is clearly unfortunate for the Twins, who are closing in on formally securing the American League Central title and punching their postseason ticket. There’s still time for Correa to be back with the club several days prior to the beginning of the playoffs, and that’ll be the team’s hope — particularly since Correa had been trending up at the dish. Correa had perhaps his worst month of the season in August but is batting .296/.377/.463 (136 wRC+) since the calendar flipped to September.
Minnesota’s injury woes don’t end there, however. The Twins saw breakout rookie Royce Lewis exit yesterday’s game with discomfort in his left hamstring. The 24-year-old former No. 1 overall pick hobbled a bit after trying to beat a grounder, and he exited the game during his next plate appearance after tweaking something on a foul ball swing (link via MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park).
To this point, there’s no indication Lewis will require a trip to the injured list, though the Twins will surely exercise caution. The longtime top prospect returned from his second ACL tear in as many years this season and has been among the best hitters in the American League when healthy, batting .309/.372/.548 with 15 home runs in 239 plate appearances. Lewis has seized the everyday job at third base and shown a flair for the dramatic, recently connecting on his fourth grand slam in a span of just three weeks.
Not coincidentally, a Minnesota lineup that has struggled with inconsistency throughout the season has done its best work in September, with both Lewis and Correa performing at high levels. The Twins are averaging 4.7 runs per game on the year but are tied with the Orioles for the MLB lead with 112 runs in 18 games this month (6.2 runs per game). With Correa sidelined and Lewis banged up, the Twins will likely turn to Kyle Farmer and Willi Castro at shortstop. Both players are options at third base as well, as is veteran Donovan Solano (who’s spent more time at first base this year).