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What Horribly Go Wrong With Buxton Process?



What Horribly Go Wrong With Buxton Process?

As they have done for years, the Minnesota Twins began their spring training in Fort Myers. There was talk that this squad was capable of competing for the AL Central. Most certainly, Byron Buxton’s efforts would play a significant role in that, but as August approaches, why did everything go so tragically wrong there?

The Twins insisted that Alex Kirilloff and Jorge Polanco would be ready for Opening Day throughout spring training. Not at all. They said that Byron Buxton, who underwent knee surgery in the winter, will gradually return to centerfield. No, he hasn’t.

The former two have made significant contributions this season, despite limits due to more injuries. It’s unclear how we got here because the latter has yet to appear on the field in a defensive alignment.

After clumsily falling onto second base after a double against the Boston Red Sox, Buxton dealt with knee problems the whole previous season. He spent a lot of time on the trainer’s table and had a season full of knee drains. He played 92 games, which was a record since 2017, but that seemed to give him an odd target to aim towards.

Buxton told me during the Twins uniform debut that he wanted to play in more games than he did in 2022. That’s a fantastic objective, but it became murky throughout 2023. The Twins moved him to designated hitter and allowed those games to count similarly because he didn’t make any defensive contributions. He was on the lineup, yes, but his.Rocco Baldelli’s lineup versatility suffered from his 731 OPS, 98 OPS+, and crowding a bat-only position.

The Twins appear to believe that Buxton should be returned to the field at this point despite the fact that he is now on the injured list, this time with a sore hamstring. Baldelli is noted in a recent piece from The Athletic as noting that here is where his legs will be best positioned to play the field. When you contemplate what ought to have happened in the offseason, that seems like complete nonsense.

Buxton was never supposed to be in better shape than he was before the season started. Minnesota assigned Buxton to the designated hitter position rather than preparing him to contribute on both sides of the ball. Before Matt Wallner and Edouard Julien were well-known, that was a sound position. Before Royce Lewis came back, it worked. For a while, it was fine. But that shouldn’t have kept happening.

What Horribly Go Wrong With Buxton Process?

Buxton had a.920 OPS for Minnesota on May 4. After that, he participated in 56 games, all as designated hitter, posting a.178/.263/.366 slash line. However, he was unable to substitute defensively late in a game. Even Miguel Sano would have blushed at his 71/20 K/BB, but he was still far from being able to play the field.

The time has come for Minnesota to reassign Buxton to the outfield as September approaches and he is ostensibly working on a comeback. He has no business taking the designated hitter position away from other players or from Baldelli, which is a fantastic stand to take. That doesn’t lessen how curious it is, though.

Why is it a good idea to rebuild Buxton now, after a short break? Was Buxton’s season-long preparation a complete failure on the part of the Twins? Was Buxton adamant that Minnesota wouldn’t get the chance to use him on the field? Whatever the cause, everyone involved in this process made mistakes with the scheduling and execution of every step.

The fact that Minnesota won’t just re-sign Buxton as their designated hitter is fantastic. That has been evident for months, and it is abundantly plain that it does not maintain his health. Buxton’s body might never be able to sustain a full season again, but it is never appropriate to prioritize games played over total contributions.

With a strong Byron Buxton on the roster, Minnesota is improved. Having him merely use his bat is not in their best interests, and playing him anything less than fully engaged is also inappropriate. Because Buxton is constantly injured, the Twins only paid pennies on the dollar to sign him. They may obtain that from him since it’s built in. The sole course of action for the remainder of his career should be to start him in the line-up as a full participant; if it requires 80 games every season, so be it.

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