Byron Buxton was one of the guys I wanted to watch most entering the 2018 season. He’s a player who I thought could do some Eric Davis-type things. A 20-homer, 40-stolen base season was the vision in my head. All while playing Gold Glove defense in center for an upstart team I really like. I didn’t get to see much of him, if any.
The Twins are taking things slow with Buxton.
Nursing the fractured big toe on his left foot, Buxton will travel with the Twins to Chicago for a four-game road trip against the White Sox starting Thursday but doesn’t appear close to returning from the disabled list. He was injured when he fouled a ball off the toe in Ft. Myers, Fla., where he was on a rehab assignment after being placed on the DL because of migraines.
“We’re going to take him with us on the trip so we can monitor where he’s at day by day,” said manager Paul Molitor, whose team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday at Target Field.
Molitor said his team is hasn’t decided whether Buxton will need another rehab assignment before returning to the lineup for Minnesota, which is 7-13 since the outfielder was first sidelined on April 13. He was hitting .195 (8 for 41) with two doubles and two RBIs in 11 games but still playing the defense that earned him the American League Platinum Glove last season.
It’s unclear whether the Twins expect the toe to heal while he rehabs or whether they’re waiting for the pain to become tolerable. Buxton took swings in the cage on Tuesday and, according to Molitor, “looked pretty good.”
When the guy gets back in action, I’ll have the Twins on a lot early in the night in the summer. I think they will make a run at some point this season, and they’re the second best team in their division.
But none of this happens without the straw that stirs the drink in Minneapolis, Byron Buxton.