Injury Cloud Surrounds Buxton's Breakout Season
Image courtesy of Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsMinor League Injuries
Buxton burst onto the scene in 2013, his first full minor league season but he missed some time after suffering a shoulder injury. This prevented him from fully participating in the Arizona Fall League. The 2014 season saw him hurt his wrist during spring training and he reinjured it on a slide shortly after returning from the DL. In his Double-A debut, he violently collided with another outfielder which resulted in a season-ending concussion. Minnesota sent him to the AFL and he proceeded to break his finger on a dive for the ball.
During the 2017 campaign, Buxton missed time with a variety of injuries. In the middle of July, he missed time with a groin injury and migraine headaches. The groin injury was sustained while hustling around to score on a Brian Dozier RBI double. He occasionally dealt with the headaches after colliding with the outfield wall back in early May. By late August, Buxton missed more time with a left hamate bone injury. He was fortunate to avoid a fracture after taking a hard swing at a ball.
Buxton’s last injury might be the one fans remember the most since it happened in the team’s final game. In the second inning with Todd Frazier batting, Buxton chased down a ball while crashing into the center field wall.
He tried to play through the pain and did so by beating out a potential double-play grounder, allowing the tying run to score. He then stole second base but he was clearly not comfortable. During the game, the announcers called his injury “upper-back tightness.” Some reports called it a cracked rib in the days following the game. This meant multiple tests for Buxton which came back with a report of no fracture, but no other diagnosis.
Looking To The Future
Earlier this fall, I wrote about how Buxton seemed to have moved from broken to booming. While this still might be the case, there needs to be some concern about his injury history. His all-out effort is one of the reasons for the value Buxton provides the Twins.
Buxton was asked about his catch in the Wild Card game. “Once I picked up where the wall was and realized I was going to take a pretty good hit, I just put all my focus onto the ball and held onto the ball,” he told the Pioneer Press. “If you try to shield yourself, you’re going to be passive toward the ball and not as aggressive. I like to play this game aggressively and go out and have a lot of fun.”
It might be fun to see Buxton making diving and leaping catches but will his aggressive nature lead to more injuries in the future? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.