Shortstop Royce Lewis, the first overall pick by the Twins in Monday’s MLB draft, was expected to arrive Thursday night in the Twin Cities for a physical exam Friday.
In most cases, the physical is the last step before the club announces a deal. Lewis will be one of a few draft picks who are expected to sign over the next few days, a group that also includes outfielder/first baseman Brent Rooker, who the 35th overall pick.
The Twins are expected to sign Lewis for a little less than $1 million below the approximate pick value for the first overall selection, which is $7.77 million. That would put the bonus at around $6.8 million, a club record.
The Twins have declined to offer any details. Lewis is represented by Scott Boras.
Lewis batted .377 for JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., this season and is committed to attend Cal-Irvine.
Third-round pick Blayne Enlow, a righthander from St. Amant (La.) High, already has agreed to a bonus of around $2 million. His pick was valued at $755,500, but the Twins are paying him more to get him out of his commitment to Louisiana State.
Wilk to start
The Twins are expected to call up lefthander Adam Wilk to start one of Saturday’s two games against Cleveland.
Wilk would qualify as the 26th man and can join the team without a corresponding move. But the Twins will have to make room for him on their 40-man roster. Wilk gave up three runs over seven innings during his first stint with the Twins after he was claimed off waivers from the Mets. He’s 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA in three games with Rochester.
Hector Santiago threw in the bullpen Thursday in an attempt to prove that he could come off the disabled list and pitch Saturday. But the Twins have decided to be a little more patient with Santiago as he recovers from a sore shoulder.
Adalberto Mejia will start Saturday’s other game, the order yet to be determined.
Cleveland is 11-15 against lefthanded starters and 20-15 against righthandeders. So throwing more than two lefties at them could be more than a coincidence. But lefthanded hitters are 20-for-40 against Santiago with six home runs.
Escobar stays hot
Eduardo Escobar worked the count full in the first inning Thursday, fouling off pitches to force an eight-pitch at bat. And he really liked that ninth pitch from Ariel Miranda, parking it in the seats in left for a two-run homer.
In the second inning Escobar followed the same script. He worked Miranda over for a nine-pitch at-bat before smacking a single to left.
He attacked on the second pitch in his third at-bat, blooping a single just past the reach of Seattle shortstop Taylor Motter.
Escobar can do no wrong. He was 3-for-4 with two runs-batted-in on Thursday and is batting .295. He was batting .208 on June 2 but has hit .581 with three home runs and eight RBI over his past eight games.
“Esco continues his little hot run here,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “I don’t know if anybody has jumped that many points in June, but it has been nice to watch him contribute.”
Brian Dozier is going to get a day off soon, but Thursday was not the day, with a lefthander on the mound.
“We had a little discussion about if we should try to get him a blow in here some day before the off-day, which is tough with Cleveland coming in,” Molitor said.
“We’re just going day-by-day with him.”