By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have avoided a scare with star shortstop Carlos Correa, whose right middle finger is not broken as initially feared following a hit-by-pitch in the previous game.
The CT scan Friday confirmed that he did not suffer a fracture, president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said. He’s just bruised and sore.
“Thank you Lord,” Correa tweeted.
His status will be evaluated day to day, and he won’t have to go on the injured list.
“The reality is it’s just going to be inflammation and soreness management,” Falvey said.
For now, top prospect Royce Lewis will replace Correa. Lewis was recalled from Triple-A St. Paul to make his major league debut, filling the roster spot of infielder Luis Arraez, who was placed on the COVID-19 list.
Correa was plunked twice in Minnesota’s loss at Baltimore on Thursday. The first one in the fifth inning appeared to graze off his left forearm and get him in the right shoulder. The second one in the eighth inning hit his right hand while it was on the handle of the bat with him in the middle of a half-swing. The ball went into fair territory, and Correa was easily retired on a groundout.
After a slow start at the plate to his first season with the Twins, Correa was just getting going with a .412 batting average (14 for 34) and eight RBIs in his last eight games.
After signing a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Twins that comes with an opt-out clause after this season and next, Correa has provided instant leadership and a steady presence at shortstop where he won the 2021 AL Gold Glove Award.
The Twins, who took a 2 1/2-game lead on Cleveland in the AL Central entering their game against Oakland on Friday, have been stretched thin this week.
Manager Rocco Baldelli, Arraez and starting pitcher Dylan Bundy all tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, sidelining them for the time being. They were experiencing mild symptoms. Bench coach Jayce Tingler has taken over as temporary manager with Baldelli out. Falvey addressed reporters via video conference, because he, too, had COVID-19.
First baseman Miguel Sanó is out indefinitely, facing surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee. He was hurt jumping up and down to celebrate a walk-off victory over Detroit on April 26, then aggravated the injury while trying to play through the discomfort on Saturday at Tampa Bay.
Another key cog in the lineup, left fielder Alex Kirilloff, has been out for the last month due to right wrist inflammation.
The 22-year-old Lewis, a native of Southern California, has been sidetracked a bit on his way to the majors since the Twins made him the top pick in the 2017 draft.
After a year without minor league competition in 2020 due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lewis then tore the ACL in his right knee while doing an agility drill in an offseason workout before reporting to spring training last year. He sat out the entire 2021 season recovering from reconstructive surgery.
Lewis is the top Twins prospect, ranked 44th overall by MLB.
“We’re pressed into a situation now where he’s got to step up and go,” Falvey said. “He’s going to have some good days, and he’s going to have some bad days.”
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