Byron Buxton Must Prove One Thing In Order To Play in Playoffs

Perennially injured outfielder Byron Buxton is making his pitch to get into the lineup for the Minnesota Twins' upcoming first-round playoff series beginning Tuesday. According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune, he had a 20-minute closed-door meeting with manager Rocco Baldelli this week, and had a message for the skipper: "Put me on the playoff roster."

The 29-year-old, known more as a staple on the Injured List than on the field, has been battling a sore knee all season long and only DHing when he has played. The knee flared up again when he tried to play the outfield on a rehab assignment earlier this month. But with the team's best hitter, Royce Lewis, coming back off a hamstring injury to DH in time for the playoffs, Buxton's only way into the postseason lineup is to prove he and his troublesome knee can play the outfield.

Buxton will be hitting, running and taking fly balls in center at Target Field this weekend while his teammates are wrapping up the regular season in Colorado against the Rockies. He'll have until 10am Tuesday to make his case to Baldelli. That's when playoff rosters for the Wild Card Round have to be submitted. 

Everybody loves Buck," Baldelli said. "Everybody wants him to be on the playoff roster. Everybody wants to see him continue to make strides toward returning to the field.

"This will all come to a head on Tuesday."

Photo: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports