April 8, 2024

You know who the Twins miss? Royce Lewis

The Twins are lacking a serious spark in their lineup of late, which explains why the club was 0-for-12 on Thursday and 0-for-11 on Saturday in two losses to the Cleveland Guardians. Saturday’s loss was especially noticeable because the Twins scored one run on two hits.

All of this is a reminder that Mr. Clutch, Royce Lewis, is injured and not in the lineup, and that the Twins need to get him back as soon as possible because Lewis, as he has already shown in his short career, hits well with runners in scoring position.

How well? Take a look at these numbers: He has slashed .380/.443/.789 with eight home runs and 43 RBI with runners ready to score, according to Baseball-Reference.com. Take that kind of production out of the lineup and you have a major gap. So far no one has stepped up to fill that role.

Saturday starter Joe Ryan delivered a quality start, but if the offense can score only one run on two hits, that effort will go to waste. And so it did. Ryan took the loss, although he allowed only three runs over six innings with no walks and seven strikeouts. He is 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA.

Extra innings…

-Bailey Ober gets the ball Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ober will be looking to bounce back from an 11-0 loss to the Royals, but it’s a tall order because the Dodgers’ top of the order is one of the best in baseball. It begins with Mookie Betts, followed by Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman and then the free-swinging Teoscar Hernandez, although he did hit 26 dingers in 2023. Good luck, Bailey. You’re going to need it. The Twins are 1-6 against the Dodgers since 2022.

-Alex Kirilloff, who had previously hit two triples in his career, suddenly has three so far this season.

-The Twins have scored 21 runs through seven games, or three runs per game, which isn’t going to get you very far. The 21 runs is the second fewest runs scored in the American League. The Chicago White Sox, who appear to be terrible, are at the bottom with 13 runs scored.

-The Detroit Tigers might be 6-2, but they also have played the White Sox, Mets and A’s to start the season.

-Former Twins prospect Spencer Steer had a 2-for-3 day at the plate with two runs scored and three RBI in the Reds’ 9-6 win over the Mets on Saturday. Steer is hitting .448 to start the season. I gotta quit looking at Reds’ box scores.

-The Miami Marlins have finally won a game and three ex-Twins played a role in the outcome. Luis Arraez had four hits at the top of the order, Nick Gordon hit a three-run homer and Kyle Gibson, pitching for the Cardinals, absorbed the loss, allowing seven runs, all earned, on seven hits over six innings.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.