Twins 3B Royce Lewis frustrated by latest trip to injured list

Minnesota Twins third baseman Royce Lewis opened a bit of a vein after Thursday’s July 4 win over the Detroit Tigers at Target Field over his latest trip to the 10-day injured list.

Lewis pulled up lame after hitting a two-run double in Tuesday’s win over the Tigers. He left the game with a groin injury, and was placed on the IL with right adductor strain. Lewis has already missed more than two months this season after suffering a quad injury on Opening Day in Kansas City.

He told reporters in the clubhouse Thursday he’s made significant changes to try and prevent injuries.

"I've spent a lot of money on my body. I've been doing everything I possibly can. If someone said, 'Hey, if you smoke cigarettes like Babe Ruth and that'll work,' then I'll do that, too. I'm open to anything."

Lewis said he gets to the ballpark on game days between five and six hours early, with a pregame routine that’s dedicated to preventing injuries. He said doctors believe his latest injury  is an overcompensation of the other muscles reacting to his quad injury earlier this season. He started feeling tightness before Tuesday’s game, but it wasn’t bad until he got the two-run double.

"It was something I was able to manage. And then when I got a hit, I started jogging, I swear I wasn't even running hard yet and I noticed, 'Oh, that is significantly tighter.' It probably went up to a seven or eight on that scale, out of 10. And then that's when I let the staff know," Lewis said. "I was hoping we caught it ahead of time. Unfortunately, it was a Grade 2 strain."

While not as severe as his quad injury, Derek Falvey made it very clear Lewis won’t be returning to the lineup until after Major League Baseball’s All-Star break. The All-Star Game is July 16. He said he felt Thursday like he could’ve been the designated hitter if needed.

In Lewis’s absence, Brooks Lee made his MLB debut this week at third base. He’s already made an impact, with three hits in six at-bats and two RBI, including a sacrifice fly in Thursday’s game.