Buxton’s Back: Was No Rehab a Mistake?
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsBuxton struggled out of the gate this season. In his first 11 games, he went 8-for-41 (.195 BA) at the plate with two extra-base hits, both doubles. He posted an 11 to 2 strikeout to walk ratio and his .233 on-base percentage is almost 60 points lower than his career mark. Minnesota’s wintery weather in the early season might have been to blame for some of his cold start.
Now the Twins are getting back quite possibly the best defensive player in the game. Manager Paul Molitor was forced to use a smattering of other players as fill-in options in center field. There have been some misplayed balls and bad routes that hurt the team along the way so the pitching staff must be excited to have Buxton back.
“I think everyone feels a little void when he’s not around,” Molitor told reporters.
One has to question Minnesota’s decision not to send Buxton down for another rehab assignment. Over the last week, he has tested his ability to run and do other baseball activities. Even though he has been given the green light from the team’s doctors, his swing might not be ready for big league pitching.
Buxton wasn’t exactly on fire prior to the injury. Fans have also seen how much his swing is based on timing. He’s dropped and added his swing’s leg-kick throughout the course of his career. Playing a handful of games against minor league pitchers could help Buxton to get some of his timing back.
The Twins are scheduled to face the Angels top three pitchers, with Garret Richards, Tyler Skaggs and Shoehi Ohtani set to start three games out of the four game set. Saturday’s starter is still to be determined for LA. Skaggs is left-handed but Richards and Ohtani are both righties. For his career, Buxton has hit .235/.285/.404 against right-handed pitching.
Do you think the Twins should have sent Buxton on another rehab assignment? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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