Twins Lose AL's Hottest Hitter For Rest of Regular Season

In a brutal blow for the Minnesota Twins as they head down the stretch, they've learned that they've lost the services of their — and the American League's — hottest hitter, likely through at least the end of the regular season. 

Royce Lewis—aka Mr. Grand Slam—has gone on the IL with hamstring trouble.

As per MLB Insider Jon Morosi, the hamstring strain will keep the infielder out until at least Oct. 1st — the last day of the regular season. 

It's terrible timing for Lewis, as he's simply been destroying the baseball of late. In his last 15 games, he's blasted five home runs — four of them grand slams — with 19 RBIs, a .315 average and a 1.052 OPS. He has 52 RBIs overall in just 58 games this season.

Will he be back in time for the playoffs? Manager Rocco Baldelli is hoping that the hamstring doesn't affect his swing when he's ready to come off the IL.

“If he can swing the bat without compromising his hamstring in any way, then we can have a discussion about what he’s capable of," said Baldelli. "If he can’t swing the bat, then he can’t swing the bat -- and that kind of answers that question for us.”

Once the top prospect in the game, Lewis has flashed superstar potential in his limited time with the Twins over the last couple of seasons, but injuries have continued to rob the tremendous talent of time on the field. 

The hamstring strain, of course, is nowhere near as serious as the torn ACL that destroyed his promising rookie season last year. But an oblique injury has cost him time this year, and now after his recent tear at the plate, he'll be sidelined again. 

Photo: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports