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No. 1 overall picks don't usually ascend to the majors, hit .308 and make thrilling defensive moves at shortstop only to drop back down to Class AAA after an 11-game debut.

But that was the move the Twins made Wednesday with Royce Lewis after Carlos Correa returned from the injured list to reclaim his spot at shortstop. The decision had many Twins fans cycling through stages of grief, and whether they were puzzled, angry or understanding about the situation, the one universal reaction seemed to be disappointment.

Lewis isn't languishing with the St. Paul Saints, though. He has been busy helping to carry out the master plan that could see him return to the big leagues soon, and maybe for good.

The 22-year-old is the Twins' shortstop of the future, perhaps as soon as next season with how Correa's contract is constructed. In the meantime, Lewis has the athleticism to play other positions. He just needs experience.

In the four games since Lewis returned to the Saints, he has played two at shortstop and one apiece at third base and left field. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said he envisions Lewis contributing in the big leagues again this season. Should that not be at shortstop, Baldelli wants Lewis to be confident enough to play other positions.

"We're talking about maybe a game a week in the outfield. Something along those lines. An occasional game at third base," Baldelli said Monday. "Just so he can see it. Just so he can see the throws and the angles and the ball coming off the bat. We don't want to just assume anything.

"We'll never just assume that a young player's just going to move to three other spots on the field and be proficient. But I believe in Royce, and I believe in his work habits and his ability to adapt."

Other Twins players have learned new positions successfully at the major league level, such as Luis Arraez at first base this season or Nick Gordon in center field last year as a rookie. Arraez is now an established major leaguer, and the Twins didn't really have any other choice in Gordon's case, with injury problems slashing their depth in center. Also last season, Gilberto Celestino ascended quickly from Class AA to the majors, and he struggled.

Lewis could try other spots as well, such as second base or center field, depending on the Twins' needs. However, Baldelli emphasized the importance of Lewis mainly playing shortstop.

"You start playing too many games not at your primary position, and I think you start losing something," Baldelli said. "So it's kind of a balance. But most of his games will be we know where, and we're going to start at those other two spots. But I think he could move around beyond there, too."

Pitching pros

Injuries have hit the Twins hard this season, particularly with the starting rotation. They opened with six starters in Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, Dylan Bundy, Sonny Gray, Chris Archer and Chris Paddack. Josh Winder and Devin Smeltzer have filled in for two starts each. But only Ryan, Archer and Smeltzer — who is back with the Saints — have managed to not miss a start because of an injury or COVID-19.

Baldelli said having Ryan and Archer as anchors amid the turbulent tides has been essential. Ryan is 5-2 through eight games, posting a 2.28 ERA. Archer is 0-1 in eight games, with a 3.86 ERA, after the righthander gave up one run in four innings Monday vs. Detroit.

"Having Joe Ryan out there … he's given us basically a really good start just about every time he's taken the mound since he's shown up in Minnesota," Baldelli said.

The manager also praised Archer, who came into spring training as a late free-agent signing while also coming off a couple of injury-riddled seasons. Archer's starts have been shorter by design — he has yet to pitch in five innings this season.

"Having a couple guys like that to start with, who've made all their starts," Baldelli said, "someone's got to pitch. And to have guys take care of themselves in between outings and [be] ready to go and then pitching every time it, it's important."

Coulombe return pending

Reliever Danny Coulombe is tracking for a return in the middle of this week, Baldelli said. The lefthander went on the injured list for a left hip impingement May 11. He pitched an inning Sunday on a rehab assignment with Class AA Wichita and allowed one walk.

Coulombe has a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings with the Twins.