Sad news everyone: Byron Buxton is broken again.
Actually, I’m not even sure if “again” is the correct term here. It seems Buxton might have never been truly fixed?
The Twins originally placed Buxton on the DL back in April of this year with migraines, and it was expected to be a short trip. However, while playing in a minor league rehab game, Buxton fouled a ball off of his foot, apparently fracturing his big toe. The fracture extended Buxton’s trip on the DL, but he was activated before it was fully healed, since he felt okay running.
It appears, however, Buxton’s toe wasn’t up for all the demands of being a professional big league player. According to ESPN 1500’s Darren Wolfson, Buxton has been “playing through a lot of pain” lately. Buxton’s massive collision with the wall at SafeCo Field last weekend, which caused him to be removed from the game, probably didn’t help anything. According to Mike Berardino, the plan is for Buxton have his foot checked out again by an orthopedist.
Losing Buxton’s defense sucks, but the silver lining here is that maybe playing through the pain could account for Buxton’s lackluster showing at the plate. Since returning from the DL on May 10th, Buxton has hit .128/.146/.170 with only two extra base hits (both doubles). He has also only stolen one base in that time. Paul Molitor told reporters Buxton had been, “swinging off his heel instead of the ball of his foot.”
Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press took this video of Buxton explaining the problem:
Replacing Buxton on the 25-man roster is RHP Aaron Slegers, here to save the tired bullpen or something. As for who will play center fielder, expect it to be a mix of Max Kepler, Ryan LaMarre, and perhaps Eddie Rosario at times too. Oh, and we might see more of Robbie Grossman in the outfield.