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FORT MYERS, FLA. – Jose Miranda's shoulder has healed from surgery enough for him to return to playing third base sometime next week, Rocco Baldelli said Sunday.

But he's not going to.

Given that Miranda, who underwent surgery to remove scar tissue from the rotator cuff and labrum of his throwing arm last October, will have been limited to a designated hitter role for the first month of camp, the Twins prefer that he focus his energy on first base for the remaining three weeks, Baldelli said.

"He won't play third base in a major league spring training game now. We're going to play him at first [base], get him as much work as he can over there," the manager said. "We want him to work at a position that he's going to play [and] that we think he can really fit us at. [It's] a position he hasn't played a ton at. He needs the work at first base, so we're going to give him as much as we can."

That means the Twins have essentially ceded Miranda's old job to second-year infielder Royce Lewis, an entirely expected move given Lewis' strong second half last year. Willi Castro and Kyle Farmer can back up Lewis, likely sending Miranda to Class AAA St. Paul to open the 2024 season.

It's unclear how often Miranda will play third base for the Saints, given that he developed shoulder problems after playing 62 games at the position for the Twins over two seasons. But Baldelli said Miranda's return to the field, expected within 5-7 days, is a positive development for the team's depth, especially given his solid showing at the plate in 2022, when he batted .268 with 15 home runs.

Miranda batted only .211 in 40 games for the Twins last season.