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Jose Miranda has been starting at third base regularly throughout May, and he knows the Twins expect to add another third baseman, Royce Lewis, back to their lineup soon.

If Miranda is worried about how Lewis will affect his roster spot, he's not showing it. He hit a two-run homer in Monday's 6-5 victory over the Royals, his third homer in his last eight games, and he's batting .310 over his last 91 plate appearances.

"I just focus out there and play the game. That's it," Miranda said. "That's what I can control."

Miranda, 25, looks like he did during his rookie season in 2022 when he was one of the bright spots on a team that missed the playoffs. Last year was essentially a lost season because of a shoulder injury that eventually required surgery.

"I can feel a big difference," said Miranda, who hit .211 in 40 games last year. "Obviously, going out there without any pain and without any thoughts in my mind on both sides of the ball ... when you're playing with an injury, it's hard. You want to sort of grind through it, but it's way different this year."

Miranda worked closely with Twins hitting coach David Popkins during the offseason. He wanted to improve his approach. He worked on where to hold his hands and how to load his swing.

"As an athlete and as a person, you don't want to make excuses, but there are some times that it gets hard," Miranda said. "Last year, it was one of those times. Thankfully, we're back here and healthy."

Bill Walton memories

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has a voicemail that he's kept on his phone for the past year from Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton, who died Monday at 71 after battling cancer.

Detroit Tigers play-by-play broadcaster Jason Benetti, who called basketball games with Walton for ESPN, sent along Baldelli's number. Baldelli admired Walton's broadcasts, always scanning channels during holiday basketball tournaments to find the games he was calling.

"I have a very special place in my heart for Bill Walton," Baldelli said. "I appreciate Bill Walton as an athlete, but mostly as a person, to be honest with you, and the character that he always brought to the table. I thought he was a really interesting guy.

"I have a very nice message from Bill Walton on my phone that I'm going to keep forever, so I can listen to his voice. He wished us luck, whether it was last year or the year before, and sent a nice long note to me and the group."

Twins play a man down

The Twins played Monday with a 25-man roster after optioning lefty reliever Kody Funderburk to Class AAA following Sunday's game. St. Paul Saints righthanded reliever Diego Castillo is expected to be the eventual addition to the bullpen, but he didn't appear to arrive in time for the day game after flying from upstate New York.

Castillo, 30, spent six seasons in the majors with the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners, earning 16 saves in 2021. He yielded 13 hits and five earned runs over 18 innings with the Saints, totaling 22 strikeouts and six walks.

"Dynamic sinker-slider mix is kind of his thing," Baldelli said. "He's got the big, high front side delivery that I think messes with hitters. I remember him being real good, and I think he's worked his way back into throwing the ball well. He's worked hard to get here."


• Twins prospect Brooks Lee had his rehab assignment transferred to Class A Fort Myers on Monday after playing five games in the Florida Complex League. Lee had nine hits in 20 at-bats with two doubles, a walk and two strikeouts. He could join St. Paul as early as next week.

• Pitcher Josh Winder, who was sidelined in spring training because of a scapular stress fracture, formally had his rehab assignment ended Monday and he was optioned to Class AAA.

• The Twins promoted 2023 second-round pick Luke Keaschall to Class AA on Monday. Keaschall, 21, batted .335 with seven homers, 12 doubles and 21 RBI in 44 games at Class A-Advanced Cedar Rapids with more walks (30) than strikeouts (29). He added 14 stolen bases in 15 attempts.