Big Change Coming For Byron Buxton

Minnesota Twins $100 Million Dollar Man Byron Buxton has been exclusively a DH this season. That's because the 29-year-old former All-Star has been a walking trip to the injured list throughout his career. He's played more than 92 games only once in a season in his nine-year career. So the Twins have been extra cautious with their investment in 2023. 

But according to the latest news from Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, the team could be willing to risk Buxton playing some games in the outfield still this season. 
"If it's going to happen this season, it's going to be after recovering and building himself up," said Baldelli. "This is going to be his best opportunity.

“But you have to play one game in center before you can play two.”

A hamstring strain landed Buxton on the IL at the beginning of August, but it's his knee that the team has really been treating with kid gloves, as he had season-ending surgery on the joint last year. 

Buxton says that this recent time off for the hamstring strain to heal has actually helped his knee “a lot.”

Alas, first he has to return to the lineup, and according to reports, that's "not imminent." 

“My biggest thing right now is just getting back on the field however that’s possible,” Buxton said. “But yeah, it’d be fun to definitely get back out there (in the outfield) and see what happens.”

The 2022 All-Star is having a down year at the plate, hitting .207 with an OPS+ just under league average, at 98, while playing 85 of the Twins' 125 games thus far. Minnesota leads the AL Central by six games. 

 Photo: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports