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When It Rains, It Pours

“There are three things you can do in a baseball game. You can win, or you can lose, or it can rain” --- Casey Stengel, Hall of Fame Manager

Rain might have been the best thing that could have happened to the Twins on Wednesday night. Twins fans saw Fernando Romero struggle for the first time in his young pitching career as the Royals pounced on him. Minnesota did their best to mount a comeback but it wasn’t in the cards.

Earlier in the day, there was some other bad news. Bryon Buxton was placed on the disabled list and Ervin Santana was pulled off of his rehab stint. It was a rainy day in Twins Territory.
Image courtesy of Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Buxton’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’s Situation
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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17 Comments

It would seem that the pain would explain some things, maybe not all of them, but at least some of them for Buxton.I can't imagine that a broken toe is easy to play though.

 

As odd as it is to say, I think this team can more easily absorb Santana's absence than they can Buxton.The rotation has been very solid without him, meanwhile the outfield defense suffers without Buxton.Hopefully both can get back healthy and still contribute meaningfully this season.

    • Dantes929 and Vanimal46 like this

"He’s clearly been in pain at the plate and on the bases."

 

Shouldn't the team doctors know better than to let them come back before a break is healed??!Shouldn't someone in the coaching staff point out to management that its tough to bat with pain in your legs??

 

Head shaking...

    • Danchat, mikelink45 and blindeke like this

Outfield motto: Nothing drops but rain. 

 

Expanded version: Nothing drops but rain, and Twins players.

    • Danchat likes this

Certainly explains the lack of stealing bases as a PR......good luck, and get well, sir.*

 

*not that I expect he's reading this....

So the question really wasn't whether he should be on a rehab stint but whether he should have been on the field at all. Guys that get hurt a lot and sit out get their toughness questioned but I am way more annoyed by guys that think they need to play hurt to show how tough they are or because they think the team needs them playing hurt rather than not playing at all.Over the years there have been boat loads of cases where players do not perform well and then it is discovered they have been playing hurt.It cost Morneau an MVP and almost certainly the Twins a division crown in 2008.It probably cost the Twins a game or two now with Buxton as well as put his recovery on the slow path.  

    • Mike Sixel and wsnydes like this

So the question really wasn't whether he should be on a rehab stint but whether he should have been on the field at all. Guys that get hurt a lot and sit out get their toughness questioned but I am way more annoyed by guys that think they need to play hurt to show how tough they are or because they think the team needs them playing hurt rather than not playing at all. Over the years there have been boat loads of cases where players do not perform well and then it is discovered they have been playing hurt. It cost Morneau an MVP and almost certainly the Twins a division crown in 2008. It probably cost the Twins a game or two now with Buxton as well as put his recovery on the slow path.


Agreed. This is one place where, imo, macho sports culture is bad. BTW, is macho still a word?
    • LimestoneBaggy, Dantes929 and wsnydes like this

 

Agreed. This is one place where, imo, macho sports culture is bad. BTW, is macho still a word?

I think it was replaced with "studly" in the 90's.I don't know what that was replaced by though.We might need Vanimal's input on that one.

    • Mike Sixel and Dantes929 like this
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LimestoneBaggy
May 31 2018 02:59 PM

 

Agreed. This is one place where, imo, macho sports culture is bad. BTW, is macho still a word?

Macho.....Nacho man, I want to be, a nacho man....hqdefault.jpg

    • Twins33 and wsnydes like this

Sad to read of Buxton's continuing injury.I was moved by your article to put together a blog on injuries.Too often as fans we underestimate them - concussions, sprains, or any other injury creates a complex set on internal actions that we cannot judge.

 

But with that being said, I am concerned about Santana, his last year on the contract is beginning to look like a short one.But more important, over the years the Twins have had way too many injuries where the staff gives us an optimistic prognostication only to slip into week to week to eventually prolonged absence.  

 

It made me look up Trevor May.The last report from Roto World was May 22 - "Trevor May (elbow) allowed three earned runs over four innings Tuesday in a rehab start with Triple-A Rochester.

May was supposed to go five innings, but his pitch count rose quickly as he surrendered two walks and three hits -- including a homer to former teammate Trevor Plouffe. The 28-year-old right-hander has displayed diminished fastball velocity in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and will likely need a couple more minor league rehab outings before the Twins consider adding him to their active roster. May 22 - 8:20 PM"

 

But CBS reported this week - https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/news/twins-trevor-may-struggling-at-triple-a/"However, his struggles at Triple-A, especially with his control (eight walks in 10.2 innings), indicate he may need a few months in the minors before he's ready to return."

 

Anything more to add or are we having another rain storm?

Cody, as a staff writer, I wish you would stop posting that the Twins declined to send Buxton on a rehab assignment.
He only had 2 days remaining on his rehab eligibility (from the migraines).
Per MLB rules, a player must be activated after their 20 (30 for pitchers) day rehab eligibility has passed, even if they suffer a new injury, or recurrence of the original injury.
Once activated, they must miss 5 or more games (7 for pitchers), while ON the 25 man roster, AND get special approval from the commissioner's office before they can return to the disabled list.

EDIT: Upon reading the rule again, it appears I was wrong. I think they just have to be recalled from their rehab assignment, and remain inactive ( but not on the 25 man roster as I previously thought) for 5 days before resuming their rehab assignment.
Sorry, and carry on.
Photo
yarnivek1972
May 31 2018 04:19 PM

Cody, as a staff writer, I wish you would stop posting that the Twins declined to send Buxton on a rehab assignment.
He only had 2 days remaining on his rehab eligibility (from the migraines).
Per MLB rules, a player must be activated after their 20 (30 for pitchers) day rehab eligibility has passed, even if they suffer a new injury, or recurrence of the original injury.
Once activated, they must miss 5 or more games (7 for pitchers), while ON the 25 man roster, AND get special approval from the commissioner's office before they can return to the disabled list.


I don’t believe you are interpreting the rule correctly. I think it means they can’t stay on a rehab assignment forever. “Recalled from rehab” isn’t the same as activated from the DL.

Common sense says that activating injured players would be ridiculous. Setbacks during rehab happen all the time. Those players aren’t activated. They are shut completely down for a minimum of 5 (7 for pitchers) days.

I don’t believe you are interpreting the rule correctly. I think it means they can’t stay on a rehab assignment forever. “Recalled from rehab” isn’t the same as activated from the DL.

Common sense says that activating injured players would be ridiculous. Setbacks during rehab happen all the time. Those players aren’t activated. They are shut completely down for a minimum of 5 (7 for pitchers) days.


Correct. I edited my post to reflect that.

 

So the question really wasn't whether he should be on a rehab stint but whether he should have been on the field at all. Guys that get hurt a lot and sit out get their toughness questioned but I am way more annoyed by guys that think they need to play hurt to show how tough they are or because they think the team needs them playing hurt rather than not playing at all.Over the years there have been boat loads of cases where players do not perform well and then it is discovered they have been playing hurt.It cost Morneau an MVP and almost certainly the Twins a division crown in 2008.It probably cost the Twins a game or two now with Buxton as well as put his recovery on the slow path.  

It's not quite that simple. If players only played when 100 percent healthy, it'd be rare to see 100 games played in a season. They're always dinged up to one degree or another, it's a long season.

 

Ideally, you'd want every player to want to play if physically able, but have a medical staff and manager capable of saying "no" when appropriate, and have a bench that makes it easier to sit people.

 

In this case, with a broken toe, I would agree they almost certainly rushed him.

 

In the specific case of Morneau...eh, I doubt it. This was a team already giving DH ABs to Jason Tyner. 

    • ashburyjohn likes this
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puckstopper1
May 31 2018 05:23 PM

And now we also hear that Mauer is still suffering from concussion like symptoms.

 

More like severe thunderstorms for the Twins this season...

So the question really wasn't whether he should be on a rehab stint but whether he should have been on the field at all. Guys that get hurt a lot and sit out get their toughness questioned but I am way more annoyed by guys that think they need to play hurt to show how tough they are or because they think the team needs them playing hurt rather than not playing at all. Over the years there have been boat loads of cases where players do not perform well and then it is discovered they have been playing hurt. It cost Morneau an MVP and almost certainly the Twins a division crown in 2008. It probably cost the Twins a game or two now with Buxton as well as put his recovery on the slow path.

broken toes take a very long time to heal. Last time I broke toes it took 6 months before I walked without a limp. Nothing to do about it, but try to minimize aggravating movements. I didn’t take any time off of work, and at the time, I walk 20,000 to 30,000 steps per work day. It was painful, I can’t imagine what it’s been like for Buck...
Buxton was in the lineup to try and salvage the season. The writing is now on the wall, so shut him down for a while. If the Twins were a game up on the Indians, he'd still be in the lineup.

As for Santana, he wouldn't make a difference anyway (unless he can hit). Our starters, with the exception of the last two nights, have been great. Odorizzi, Romero, Berrios, Gibson all sitting with ERAs in the mid 3s with big K numbers. Lynn has also been coming around a little. To be frank, it would've been ideal to dump Santana for prospects last year.
    • Mike Sixel likes this

 

It's not quite that simple. If players only played when 100 percent healthy, it'd be rare to see 100 games played in a season. They're always dinged up to one degree or another, it's a long season.

 

Ideally, you'd want every player to want to play if physically able, but have a medical staff and manager capable of saying "no" when appropriate, and have a bench that makes it easier to sit people.

 

In this case, with a broken toe, I would agree they almost certainly rushed him.

 

In the specific case of Morneau...eh, I doubt it. This was a team already giving DH ABs to Jason Tyner. 

Tyner wasn't on the team in 2008. Morneau was pretty much a shoe in for MVP until his .690 OPS after he had his stress fracture.I blame Gardy more for playing him 163 games plus the all star game plus the home run derby.That team did have Gomez, Cuddyer, Kubel, Young and Span so there were some options to give him some rest.Of course people get dinged up but if it diminishes you below replacement level you shouldn't be out there


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