When It Rains, It Pours
Image courtesy of Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY SportsBuxton’s Bothersome Toe
When the Twins activated Buxton from the DL, I questioned the club’s decision for him to skip a rehab stint. He originally went on the disabled list because of migraines but then he ran into another problem on his rehab assignment. On April 23rd, Buxton fouled a ball of his left big toe and fractured it.
He’s clearly been in pain at the plate and on the bases. Since returning, he has gone 6-for-47 with two doubles and a stolen base in 16 games. At the plate, his biggest issues was trying to use the lower half of his body. Eventually, the pain was just too much.
"Defense wasn't really the problem, it was hitting pretty much the whole time -- trying to land, trying to find different ways to keep it from barking," Buxton said. "Each time I'd find myself having a different swing trying to hit a ball. It's tough trying to do that up here in the bigs. You've got to have that consistent swing, and that wasn't happening. I think the best thing for me was letting it settle down a little bit."
Buxton clearly wanted to help the team, especially with the club’s slow start. Now he will be reevaluated by team doctors to see if he further damaged his toe while trying to play through the pain.
Santana underwent surgery in February on the middle finger of his right hand. Originally, team officials thought he would miss 6-8 weeks. The calendar flips to June this week and he doesn’t seem to be getting any closer to joining the Twins rotation.
On Tuesday, he suited up for High-A Fort Myers for his second rehab appearance. His fastball velocity topped out around 90 mph, which quite a bit below his average over the last couple seasons. His secondary pitches have also caused some issues as he tries to get a feel for them with his surgically repaired finger.
He’s on his way to New York to see Dr. Charles Melone, the surgeon who operated on him earlier this year. After a reevaluation, the club will need to decide on the next course of action. The timeline is unclear at this point but it doesn’t look like Santana will be rescuing this team any time soon.
A year after making the AL Wild Card Game, the Twins have lost two of their most valuable pieces for a large chunk of the beginning of the season. Other players are going to need to step-up in order to fill the void.
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