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Buxton's Season Over, Placed on 60-day Injured List

The Twins have announced that Byron Buxton is being put on the 60-day injured list, and his season is over. Earlier today on MLB Network Radio, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said the Twins are “bracing for the realization this this could be [Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton’s] season ending right now.” Shoulder surgery is being considered, which would make Buxton unavailable for the rest of the regular season or the postseason.

Update: This story is being updated as new announcements are made.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

We feel the same way Byron.


Buxton has been a linchpin for the Twins defense this year when healthy. Fangraphs.com’ Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR/150) shows him as being about 15 runs better than an average centerfielder over 150 games played. There is also an additional negative cascading affect, as his presence in center allows Max Kepler to play right field, where he is also six runs better in UZR/150 than his most likely replacement, Jake Cave.

Twenty-one runs, at a high level, represents two games over a full season, but the perception of the loss is magnified by the concern about the Twins defense around the diamond. Of the Twins seven infielders and outfielders who have played the most at their positions, only Buxton and Kepler are deemed above average by UZR. Plus, Kepler was also pulled out of Sunday’s game with an injury, although an MRI on Monday for an injured scapula came back negative.

Buxton’s shoulder injury, along with two other injuries, also have short-circuited a breakthrough season for the 25-year-old. He had posted the highest batting average (.262), on-base percentage (.314) and slugging percentage (.513) of his career. He was also showing a better eye at the plate (19 walks versus 68 strikeouts) and of course was a weapon on the base paths with 19 stolen bases.

However, injuries have remained an issue. Last year was torpedoed due to a broken toe suffered from a foul ball in AAA-Rochester. This year he missed 13 games in June with a wrist injury after he was hit by a pitch. He then missed 10 games in July with a concussion after making a diving catch in the outfield. He returned but ran into a wall on August 1st, suffering a left (non-throwing) shoulder subluxation. He has not batted in the majors since.

UPDATE:



UPDATE 2:


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86 Comments

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yarnivek1972
Sep 11 2019 02:07 AM

Ellsbury is not a great talking point because he made his name on a single outlier year and wasn't great beyond that single season. His defensive metrics were mostly meh.


So far Buxton’s career is based on three good months of play (August and September of 2017 and May of this year). Take those out and you’re talking about a guy with a career OPS+ in the low 70s.

 

Ellsbury is not a great talking point because he made his name on a single outlier year and wasn't great beyond that single season. His defensive metrics were mostly meh.

Definitions of "great" can vary, but Ellsbury also posted 4.2 and 4.6 fWAR (3.0 and 5.7 bWAR) seasons outside of his career year.

 

Through his first 5 seasons, Ellsbury had a career mark of 9.7 UZR/150. Buxton's career mark is only 10.0 through his first 5 seasons. (I wonder if Ellsbury's defensive metrics are a little more volatile too, due to the Green Monster?)

 

https://www.fangraph...tdate=&enddate=

 

That reminds me; isn't there some kind of clause about receiving damaged goods? I mean obviously Dyson had this injury before SF 'dumped' him on the Twins. It's hard to believe that they had no knowledge of his shoulder problem.

Is it that hard to believe a player might play through a health issue for a couple weeks before telling his team? Doesn't that happen all the time?

 

Especially if the issue is minor enough that it doesn't seem to affect his play -- Dyson's last 7 games for the Giants, dating from the point where he says it first started bothering him, he threw 7 shutout innings, with 2 hits, 1 walk, and 7 Ks.

 

I really doubt there was any malicious intent from the Giants here, and thus there shouldn't be any recourse for the Twins.

    • SQUIRREL likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Sep 11 2019 09:01 AM

Definitions of "great" can vary, but Ellsbury also posted 4.2 and 4.6 fWAR (3.0 and 5.7 bWAR) seasons outside of his career year.

Through his first 5 seasons, Ellsbury had a career mark of 9.7 UZR/150. Buxton's career mark is only 10.0 through his first 5 seasons. (I wonder if Ellsbury's defensive metrics are a little more volatile too, due to the Green Monster?)

https://www.fangraph...tdate=&enddate=

I wasn’t clear. The original poster referenced Ellsbury’s time with the Yankees and he was a couple of years past that outlier year when he signed.
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stringer bell
Sep 11 2019 09:08 AM

 

See Molitor, Paul.

Molitor's health improved when he became a DH. He was a great hitter and had a Hall of Fame career principally because of his hitting. Maybe Buxton can find durability, but I doubt it will be because he became a DH.

    • HitInAPinch and jkcarew like this

 

I wasn’t clear. The original poster referenced Ellsbury’s time with the Yankees and he was a couple of years past that outlier year when he signed.

Well, it's possible that injuries had already affected his play, before the Yankees even signed him. That would mean the Yankees signing was even more of a mistake, than it was that injuries simply derailed him after the signing -- but the central point about cumulative injury effects could be similar. He had a couple serious injuries in Boston too (a whole season missed to broken ribs, plus another half season lost to a shoulder subluxation, just like Buxton!).

 

Although once you get to the Yankees part of his career, it's hard to separate from aging effects -- he was already 30 years old when he debuted for New York. But it's possible that the cumulative injuries, effectively sped up his baseball aging process a bit too.

    • Brock Beauchamp likes this

Yesterday, Francisco Lindor became just the 2nd shortstop to hit 30 HR in 3 straight seasons.

 

Francisco Lindor is the same age as Buxton.

 

The sooner Twins fans take off their rose-colored glasses when looking at Buxton, the better. Let's face it: he's a nice defensive player with good speed. He's a below-average hitter (just look at the stats) and he can't stay on the field.

 

If we get a couple average years out of Byron Buxton the next couple seasons, we should be happy with that. He'll never live up to the hype, he'll never become the perennial All-Star we hoped he'd be. And we should have known all of that by 2018.

 

Buxton is my favorite Twin when he's out there! He's a great guy, fun to watch, and we all love the guy to death. But let's get real: He's not a core player. He's never going to be anything more than a complimentary piece to this Twins baseball team.

    • In My La-Z-boy likes this
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In My La-Z-boy
Sep 11 2019 09:39 AM

 

Yesterday, Francisco Lindor became just the 2nd shortstop to hit 30 HR in 3 straight seasons.

 

Francisco Lindor is the same age as Buxton.

 

The sooner Twins fans take off their rose-colored glasses when looking at Buxton, the better. Let's face it: he's a nice defensive player with good speed. He's a below-average hitter (just look at the stats) and he can't stay on the field.

 

If we get a couple average years out of Byron Buxton the next couple seasons, we should be happy with that. He'll never live up to the hype, he'll never become the perennial All-Star we hoped he'd be. And we should have known all of that by 2018.

 

Buxton is my favorite Twin when he's out there! He's a great guy, fun to watch, and we all love the guy to death. But let's get real: He's not a core player. He's never going to be anything more than a complimentary piece to this Twins baseball team.

What should we do then? Does he still have peak value this winter to another club? Based on your analysis - and I tend to agree, shouldn't we trade him? It would be a shame if this analysis comes true, and we never get the value we've been hoping for, either on the field for us, or in trade for top notch pitching. 

    • bighat likes this

 

Molitor's health improved when he became a DH. He was a great hitter and had a Hall of Fame career principally because of his hitting. Maybe Buxton can find durability, but I doubt it will be because he became a DH.

Bingo. Molitor provided offense that easily justified being used as corner guy and/or a DH. It's possible, but certainly questionable, that Buxton would attain/sustain a sufficient level of offensive performance to keep him in the league (or at least make him valuable) in that scenario. The best bet for him is to 'simply' play as many games as a center-fielder as he can in the next handful of years. And therein lies the dilemma.

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HitInAPinch
Sep 11 2019 10:22 AM

I love the fact that Buxton's offense is coming around.Is there any way he will learn to stop smashing into the outfield walls like that?5 years in the MLB and I would think he would learn how to read that long of a drive and take it off the wall.  

 

Still, only 25........

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puckstopper1
Sep 11 2019 10:24 AM

 

So the Twins have 3 outfielders out right now (Cave, Buxton, and Kepler) and they choose to bring in an infielder? 

 

Agreed! If this was to happen, I was hoping that they would have brought up Kiriloff - especially with Kepler hurting and Rosario still not looking quite right.

    • nokomismod likes this

 

Still, only 25........

 

Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination...

 

    • Cychotic likes this

I think that it will behoove the Twins to trade him in a package for a top of the rotation starter, move Royce Lewis to CF, and play Kepler there until Lewis is ready for the majors. A top of the rotation starter is a bigger need than 1/3 of a season for Buxton, which is all the Twins should be hoping from him. He is that much injury prone.RonDL White territory. Even in his last game, playing hurt he slid head first on a base that tried to reach with the hand of his injured shoulder.That's not aggressiveness, it's something else...

    • Blackjack and In My La-Z-boy like this

Agreed! If this was to happen, I was hoping that they would have brought up Kiriloff - especially with Kepler hurting and Rosario still not looking quite right.


At the moment, infield is actually a bigger need with Marwin out. We have some bench warmers that can actually play a legitimate OF defensively to give someone a rest. Adrianza and Arraez can and have played some OF as well. But really, we're probably better off using them in their current role and using the spare part OF for what they are.

I understand the idea of bringing the talented and hot Kirilloff up for a shot. And by no means am I asking the Twins to NOT "go for it". But still, is a young AA OF really going to be the savior at this point? Is it really worth starting his clock at this point on a hope and prayer he is ready to ride a magic wave of opportunity through September and October?

It would be a great story. I just dont see it happening.
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Aerodeliria
Sep 11 2019 03:29 PM
I have to say that there are some very interesting thoughts in this discussion.

At the moment, infield is actually a bigger need with Marwin out. We have some bench warmers that can actually play a legitimate OF defensively to give someone a rest. Adrianza and Arraez can and have played some OF as well. But really, we're probably better off using them in their current role and using the spare part OF for what they are.

I understand the idea of bringing the talented and hot Kirilloff up for a shot. And by no means am I asking the Twins to NOT "go for it". But still, is a young AA OF really going to be the savior at this point? Is it really worth starting his clock at this point on a hope and prayer he is ready to ride a magic wave of opportunity through September and October?

It would be a great story. I just dont see it happening.


Yes, it's worth starting his clock.
We're talking about 20 days of service time here.
I hope the decision is because they don't think he's ready. If it's because of 20 days of service time, then this FO has lost all the goodwill they've earned from me - which is a lot.

I have no problem with service time games when you're losing 90 games. I have a big problem if it's even a consideration when you have a 100 win team.
    • Mike Sixel, DocBauer and puckstopper1 like this

Yes, it's worth starting his clock.
We're talking about 20 days of service time here.
I hope the decision is because they don't think he's ready. If it's because of 20 days of service time, then this FO has lost all the goodwill they've earned from me - which is a lot.
I have no problem with service time games when you're losing 90 games. I have a big problem if it's even a consideration when you have a 100 win team.


Just being 100% transparent, I continue to be confused on service time and options. I do know that when the clock winds, there are a number of factors involved in both, and they can move both forward and back, or be stagnate, depending on when a player is added, promoted, etc. That being said, I don't think 20 or so days woukd have affect on a Kiriloff decision whatsoever.

However, I do think options, 40 man decisions, and his readiness ARE factors.

Let me state something I have eagerly stated before, and that I think Kiriloff is as close to can't miss as you can get. I have repeatedly stated I think he is "special" and will be an outstanding hitter with contact and OB ability plus power, though how much power is yet to be determined. What I do doubt is ML readiness NOW to help. There are select few prospects, even top ones, who could jump to MLB at this/his point and actually make a difference to close out the season.

The Buxton blow is huge! But barring any additional setbacks, it appears Rosario, Kepler, Gonzalez and Cave should be OK soon and going forward. If that is not the case, we could have a different discussion on our hands.

 

I think that it will behoove the Twins to trade him in a package for a top of the rotation starter, move Royce Lewis to CF, and play Kepler there until Lewis is ready for the majors. A top of the rotation starter is a bigger need than 1/3 of a season for Buxton, which is all the Twins should be hoping from him. He is that much injury prone.RonDL White territory. Even in his last game, playing hurt he slid head first on a base that tried to reach with the hand of his injured shoulder.That's not aggressiveness, it's something else...

This says it all.Its all in BB's head. He hasn't figured it out that he more help to the Twins on the field then he is on the DL. He's a terror on the base paths, he's starting to figure out the hitting so he gets on base more, that combo of offense combined with very good defense could make him a perennial all-star for years to come, and one of the Twins most valuable players. Instead he has it in his head that he has to get to every ball, regardless of the injury risk. I'd like to insert some choice terms here but you get the drift.

 

Posters say BB is what he is because of the aggressive play. They are correct but which is more valuable to the Twins (and better for BB's career) 60 games a year of super aggressive play and 100 games on the DL or 140 games of good offense/base running/and above average defense?? The kind of defense that very few can play but doesn't result in wall crashing/diving/running into other players???

 

BB, save the hi-light reel plays for the last out of the World Series and help the Twins get to the WS by staying healthy. Is that too much to ask?

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twinsnorth49
Sep 11 2019 11:12 PM
Dang it. He was putting it all together. Dang it.

"Still only 25"

That is the point. Getting older does not help the injury situation. Plain fact is that Byron Buxton's career as a professional athlete is essentially over. He should have enough in his bank account, hopefully, to make his time spent worth while and proceed with the rest of his life. His retirement won't be immediate and he will no doubt be at ST next Feb/Mar but the handwriting is on the wall.

    • ewen21 likes this
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sampleSizeOfOne
Sep 12 2019 09:09 AM

... A foul ball offf his toe is not a product of his play.


Unless he accidentally kicked it on his way to first? Unlikely i grant, but he does run pretty fast.

 

 

Migraines are not a product of his play... A foul ball of his toe is not a product of his play. 

 

Migraines are yet another reason for him not playing every day, and yet another reason for the Twins to start thinking their future without him.

 

Whose bat hit that foul ball off his toe?Unless someone else flailed at it, is a product of his play.

12:16
Oddball Herrera: Should the Twins give Kirilloff a shot rather than hope a bunch of randoms in the OF can carry them to the division title? Flags fly forever, right?

12:17
Avatar Dan Szymborski: I would.

 

mike sixel
1:29 Would you call up Kiriloff at this point? thanks<

 

Keith Law
1:29 Probably not.

 

Migraines are yet another reason for him not playing every day, and yet another reason for the Twins to start thinking their future without him.

 

Whose bat hit that foul ball off his toe?Unless someone else flailed at it, is a product of his play.

 

My response was based on the often stated concern that his all out style of play is the cause of his injuries. 

 

I'm merely pointing out that not all of his injuries are the result of him running 100 mph into the fence. 

 

If you are trying to point out that he is "injury prone". That is obvious based on the number of days he has spent on the Disabled list but that is a different discussion. 

    • Thrylos likes this

Yes, it's worth starting his clock.
We're talking about 20 days of service time here.
I hope the decision is because they don't think he's ready. If it's because of 20 days of service time, then this FO has lost all the goodwill they've earned from me - which is a lot.

I have no problem with service time games when you're losing 90 games. I have a big problem if it's even a consideration when you have a 100 win team.

Especially since AK is about 100% to start next year in AA/AAA for probably half the season anyway. Healthy, he's currently behind Buck, Rosie, Kep, Cave, Wade, Margo, Rooker, and possibly Arraez and Tortuga or maybe even Raley. He'll need to hold off Larnach as well. He projects to be good enough that options won't matter much.

There's no roster reason not to bring him up.

That said, he hasn't demonstrated he's good enough yet. His slow start to the season may indicate he needs time to adjust. And MLB playoffs would be a steep curve. I'm also not convinced his short compact Hrbek swing translates to elite MLB hitter these days.

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