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Kepler Apologizes for wearing mask

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:50 AM
Yahoo: https://sports.yahoo...-230841299.html     Max Kepler apologized for posting a photo of himself wearing a Blue Live...
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Virtual Twins Baseball Megathread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:42 AM
Moving forward this will house every game-thread in the comments below until real baseball hopefully comes back. I should have done this...
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Recent Proposal

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 12:00 PM
https://theathletic....=freedailyemail   The players have rejected the owners last proposal, the players have proposed a longer seas...
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Zulgad: Is MLB really making return about dollars and cents?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:45 AM
https://www.skornort...lars-and-cents/   The owners have made their proposal to the players. The players association will now have t...
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2020 MINOR LEAGUE SEASON

Twins Minor League Talk 29 May 2020
Baseball America takes a look at what is happening in the minors, a season that would now have been a couple of weeks old.   https:/...
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Recent Blogs


Is Byron Buxton Behind Schedule for Opening Day?

Spring training is getting closer to coming to a close, which means Opening Day is right around the corner. Luckily for the Twins, almost all their regular players [knock on wood] seem to be on track to be on the field in Oakland. Byron Buxton might be the lone exception to players expected to be everyday contributors. So, is Byron Buxton behind schedule for Opening Day?
Image courtesy of David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Initial Reports
Byron Buxton is recovering from season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left-shoulder. He started swinging in late January, hitting off a tee in February and taking live batting practice this week. Slow and steady seems to be the name of the game and it’s certainly makes sense with Buxton’s injury history.

Near the beginning of spring training, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said the club anticipated Buxton being ready for game action by mid-March. This deadline is quickly approaching, and Buxton has yet to appear in a game. Even if he does appear in games in the next week, will that be enough time put him on the Opening Day roster by March 26.

"There's no rushing this process," Buxton told MLB.com. "I know what I've got to do to be able to get back to being myself, and rushing is not one of them."

Manager Rocco Baldelli echoed this sentiment on Monday. "I don't have a schedule for Byron Buxton," Baldelli said. "Our training staff does not have a schedule for Byron. He's going to show us what his schedule will be by how well everything goes as it is laid out."
Buxton was off to a strong start last season before getting injured as he seemed to have found himself offensively. In 87 games, he hit .262/.314/.513 (.827) with 44 extra-base hits. His 30 doubles were near the top of the league before he missed time. Matthew Trueblood wrote there could be one seemingly small adjustment that would yield a big payoff.

Roster Impact
If Buxton isn’t ready for Opening Day, there will be a few moving pieces that impact the overall 26-man roster. Firstly, Max Kepler would move from right field to center field where he played for parts of last season after Buxton’s injury. Secondly, Marwin Gonzalez would likely take over as an everyday player to start the year, but he has been coming back from an offseason knee surgery of his own, so the Twins would need other outfield depth.

Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade Jr. would likely be vying to serve in the back-up outfielder role. Cave hit .258/.351/.455 (.805) with 21 extra-base hits in 72 games last season. Wade Jr. dislocated his thumb in his second big-league game and was forced to sit out from early July until the middle of August. He returned to the big-leagues as a September call-up and hit .196/.348/.375 (.723) with five extra-base hits in 26 games last year.

Cave is already in a battle for the final roster spot with Willians Astudillo, so it seems more likely for both players to make the Opening Day roster if Buxton is unable to go.

Should fans be worried about Buxton? Is it better to take it slow with him because of his injury history? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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4 Comments

I would not be surprised if Buxton not ready opening day, teams tend to be ultraconservative when bringing back players. It is a long season, would rather miss a couple of weeks early to come back full strength.

    • Danchat, JoshDungan1 and Rich like this

With Buxton's injury history it would be better to take it slow. I've been following him for many years and he's one of my favorite players. 

Is this an old article? I think I've seen it before.
    • Strato Guy and KFEY93 like this
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LA VIkes Fan
Mar 11 2020 10:41 AM

Cave starts if Buxton is out with Kepler moving to CF. Wade stays and gets spot duty as the 4th/5th OF. Probably 4th OF since it looks like Gonzalez is an IF to start while he recovers from the knee patella debridement he had in the off season. He can't run well enough yet to play a lot of OF. If Buxton is ready, Wade and Astudillo get every day ABs in AAA. Not sure why Astudillo is mentioned as staying. Do you guys know something from the coaches/team on that? It wouldn't seem to make sense given how poorly he hit last year and his lack of anyreal fielding chops. He's redundant to Gonzalez, except that he can (sort of) play Catcher. Its hard to see how he makes the roster in any scenario unless Baldelli wants a 3rd catcher in Minnesota rather than a phone call away in Rochester for some unknown reason. 


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