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Article: What To Do With Byron Buxton?

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#121 spycake

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 11:41 PM

I don’t believe there is nearly as much value in a month of September at bats versus his value next April much less an extra full year at the end.

Could the difference be that I believe Buxton will be a very valuable player in that extra year and you believe the September at bats are critical to any possibility of future success?

If that’s the case, we disagree. I don’t think the at bats are very valuable but I get your point.


No, that's not really my position.

Let me put it this way: will you be comfortable, after your shutdown, of penciling Buxton in as your opening day CF in 2019?

If not, then why bother shutting him down? You still have an option for 2019, you can use it and achieve the same goal (extra year of control) before May 1st.

If yes, then that sounds pretty reckless, both from a player and a team perspective. With the performance challenges he already had, plus basically the lost season, it seems highly questionable to take away his last shot at healthy* high-level reps before the offseason and opening day 2019, replace them with instructs, and throw him back into the fire at the first opportunity and just expect it is all going to work out somehow.

I am not saying his September 2018 MLB stats will be super-meaningful, or critical to any chance of future success. All I am saying is that it's an opportunity for him to finally play and I don't see a compelling reason to just skip it. The extra year of control is not exclusive to the shut down plan. If anything, we should plan to option him in 2019 regardless. But he needs to play when possible.

* And we should be able assume he is healthy, by any reasonable definition. Even if they want to give him extra days off (and there is still plenty of time to slowly adjust that this season, if we so desire). If he's not healthy, he shouldn't be playing anywhere right now.

Obviously if he get hurt again, or he really struggles at Rochester, you can change course. If he needs to be rebuilt in Ft Myers like Sano, then so be it. (But if you think that today, then he should be in Ft Myers today, nothing gained by waiting.)
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#122 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 06:56 AM

Why would he take a team friendly deal? He's already a millionaire, he can bet on himself.

Agreed. It's all up to Buxton. My hunch is that Falvine are moving off of Buxton and Sano to the next wave of Lewis, Kiriloff, Rooker, and the stockpile of low-A talent. A long-term deal for Buxton only makes sense if it's team-friendly. But my hunch is that Buxton will bet on himself.
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#123 Nick Nelson

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 10:21 AM

 

Could get enough at bats to show improved K rate, that stabilizes pretty quickly, no? And could be a good indicator for 2019.

Part of the issue here is that it'll be hard to buy into any ostensible improvements as meaningful indicators for the start of next year.

 

Buxton in Sept 2016: .287/.357/.653, 9 HR

Buxton in April 2017: .147/.256/.176, 0 HR

 

Buxton in Aug/Sept 2017: .298/.342/.541, 11 HR

Buxton in April/May 2018: .156/.183/.200, 0 HR

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#124 laloesch

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 11:17 AM

 

Buck is our starting CFer. He is a platinum glove winner and last year he actually hit close to .300 near the end of the season. I thought he had figured out a lot of stuff, but the injury made him over swing to show he was still good... even though he wasn't.  Same with Sano.

 

When he is ready to resume his role he gets called up.... control and arbitration considerations be damned. I'd tell him we want him long term and offer him an extension. The way to engender a player's loyalty is to be loyal to them. 

 

I don't think injuries made him over swing or any other such nonsense.He has terrible pitch recognition skills simple as that.He's a sucker for breaking balls just like Sano.  

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#125 Riverbrian

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 11:19 AM

No, that's not really my position.

Let me put it this way: will you be comfortable, after your shutdown, of penciling Buxton in as your opening day CF in 2019?

If not, then why bother shutting him down? You still have an option for 2019, you can use it and achieve the same goal (extra year of control) before May 1st.

If yes, then that sounds pretty reckless, both from a player and a team perspective. With the performance challenges he already had, plus basically the lost season, it seems highly questionable to take away his last shot at healthy* high-level reps before the offseason and opening day 2019, replace them with instructs, and throw him back into the fire at the first opportunity and just expect it is all going to work out somehow.

I am not saying his September 2018 MLB stats will be super-meaningful, or critical to any chance of future success. All I am saying is that it's an opportunity for him to finally play and I don't see a compelling reason to just skip it. The extra year of control is not exclusive to the shut down plan. If anything, we should plan to option him in 2019 regardless. But he needs to play when possible.

* And we should be able assume he is healthy, by any reasonable definition. Even if they want to give him extra days off (and there is still plenty of time to slowly adjust that this season, if we so desire). If he's not healthy, he shouldn't be playing anywhere right now.

Obviously if he get hurt again, or he really struggles at Rochester, you can change course. If he needs to be rebuilt in Ft Myers like Sano, then so be it. (But if you think that today, then he should be in Ft Myers today, nothing gained by waiting.)


I know you asked Jorgenswest but I can’t help throwing two cents in. I got a lot of loose change in my pocket that way.

I do not feel comfortable counting on Buxton for 2019 and nothing he does in September will change that.

The furthest I’m willing to go is on the 25 man roster and proving himself but I will require a CF option on the roster for him to compete with.

I believe that Buxton getting better will be quick and a matter of stop doing that. I’m not sure that it is something that will improve with repetition.

I prefer September on the off chance of immediate improvement and the chance he hits the ground running opening day and doesn’t need to see Rochester.

A long shot yes but possible... maybe. Either way I want that year back and if the Twins decide to debut him in May or later. Ok.
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#126 Kelly Vance

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 12:12 PM

 

If you are going to blame Buxton's hitting issues on injury, then you need to examine that issue and not use it as an excuse.He's hurt all the time.This wasn't one injury that derailed this one season.He's largely been a bad hitter and frequently been hurt.The two might be entwined, but even by themselves both are serious problems.

 

I'd like to see him on a regiment to strengthen his durability and resilience.I don't want to see him again this year and risk his brittle physique taking another injury that derails his readiness for next year.  

Seems to me that a guy that is "hurt all the time" wouldn't win a platinum glove.

And a guy that dives for balls and sacrifices his body for your amusement deserves more respect than that.

 

 

 

Edited by Kelly Vance, 16 August 2018 - 12:27 PM.


#127 Kelly Vance

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 12:26 PM

 

I don't think injuries made him over swing or any other such nonsense.He has terrible pitch recognition skills simple as that.He's a sucker for breaking balls just like Sano.  

It is NOT nonsense. I watch all the games. He was trying to pull everything. Like Sano. He was favoring his broken toe by swinging off his heels. He was waving at pitches instead of driving the ball. 

 

His "pitch recognition" was fine last year. He did a less pronounced leg kick and had his mechanics solid. This year's injury messed with his mechanics.

 

 


#128 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 12:29 PM

 

I don't think injuries made him over swing or any other such nonsense.He has terrible pitch recognition skills simple as that.He's a sucker for breaking balls just like Sano.  

 

Both guess too much right now. Hopefully it improves. It's like some people don't even watch the games and just look at numbers. Sometimes seeing is believing.He basically just has to lay off any over the outside part of the plate for now. Teams aren't dumb and will continue to fool these guys until they wise up. Don't throw them many strikes and soft stuff away is all it takes. Sano has been a little better since he got back though, I will say that. 

 

I have said the same thing about Delmon Young when he first got here. The guy played a couple games and it was obvious he would never be the great player they thought he would be. He swung at everything and was lost in the field. 


#129 Kelly Vance

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 12:30 PM

 

Part of the issue here is that it'll be hard to buy into any ostensible improvements as meaningful indicators for the start of next year.

 

Buxton in Sept 2016: .287/.357/.653, 9 HR

Buxton in April 2017: .147/.256/.176, 0 HR

 

Buxton in Aug/Sept 2017: .298/.342/.541, 11 HR

Buxton in April/May 2018: .156/.183/.200, 0 HR

But Nick... last year he almost hit .300 after his adjustments. You don't go from .298 to .156 unless there is something seriously wrong. The difference is the foot injury.  I think he will be fine come spring.

 

 

 

 


#130 Loosey

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 12:54 PM

 

It's not just giving away leverage, though. It's also giving away our only chance to see him face major league competition until spring training 2019 (if not opening day 2019, depending on how you view spring training).

 

So you're also giving away a potentially important evaluation opportunity (do we need to acquire another outfielder this offseason? for how much?), and possibly a development opportunity too.

 

You can still get the same extra-year-of-control leverage after calling him up in September, if you option him for 29 days in 2019. Maybe that's the best plan, to maximize his opportunity?

I think if the control is the main objective, bring him up in September to evaluate and get him some Major League at bats before the off-season.Maybe he catches fire and confidence going into the off-season.Then next year start him out in Rochester if he is isn't raking in ST until May to get him warmed up since he is a slow starter.


#131 Loosey

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 01:13 PM

So Buxton ended last season playing pretty well.Then in the Wild Card game he smashed into the wall and hurt his back.I don't feel like anything was ever mentioned of his back since that game.Did he ever aggravate anything with his back in the off-season that would have affected his swing and developed or made him fall back into awful habits?  

 

I'm not trying to make excuses for him, but back injuries seem to linger and with Buck being the type of guy always going all out could he have tried coming back earlier than he should have and tweaked it a bit, swung differently when working on stuff and in general turned an inconsistent swing into a bad approach/swing?


#132 laloesch

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 01:14 PM

 

Both guess too much right now. Hopefully it improves. It's like some people don't even watch the games and just look at numbers. Sometimes seeing is believing.He basically just has to lay off any over the outside part of the plate for now. Teams aren't dumb and will continue to fool these guys until they wise up. Don't throw them many strikes and soft stuff away is all it takes. Sano has been a little better since he got back though, I will say that. 

 

I have said the same thing about Delmon Young when he first got here. The guy played a couple games and it was obvious he would never be the great player they thought he would be. He swung at everything and was lost in the field. 

 

Yeah i agree Sano has been a bit better since being called back up recently.Buxton has had issues with pitch recognition and hitting since the moment he debutted longgggg before he broke his toe.

Edited by laloesch, 16 August 2018 - 01:28 PM.


#133 spycake

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 01:30 PM

Part of the issue here is that it'll be hard to buy into any ostensible improvements as meaningful indicators for the start of next year.

Buxton in Sept 2016: .287/.357/.653, 9 HR
Buxton in April 2017: .147/.256/.176, 0 HR

Buxton in Aug/Sept 2017: .298/.342/.541, 11 HR
Buxton in April/May 2018: .156/.183/.200, 0 HR


Sure, which is one reason I specifically mentioned K rate. A dramatic improvement there would probably be more interesting at this point than a good slash line. But even if he doesn't improve or impress, I think he needs the opportunity.

And, in my other posts, I also spelled out how I am not really looking for him to prove anything more before opening day 2019. To me, he's already proven his inconcistency and unreliability. The only thing we can really do is give him chances when possible (like September 2018) and prepare a viable alternative outfield (offseason and April 2019).

#134 laloesch

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 01:31 PM

 

It is NOT nonsense. I watch all the games. He was trying to pull everything. Like Sano. He was favoring his broken toe by swinging off his heels. He was waving at pitches instead of driving the ball. 

 

His "pitch recognition" was fine last year. He did a less pronounced leg kick and had his mechanics solid. This year's injury messed with his mechanics.

 

Are we watching games in alternative universes (which would be interesting to say the least)?He has had issues with pitch recognition (Sano as well) since the moment he was called up.The injury certainly hasn't helped matters but he was doing this LONG before the broken toe.Buxton routinely swings at pitches falling far out of the strike zone.It is is his Achilles heel and teams know it now.That's another reason why he needs to stay in AAA the rest of the season and not get called back up.Work on mechanics and pitch recognition and see where he's at next spring.It's obvious he's still not ready for the majors.  

Edited by laloesch, 16 August 2018 - 01:34 PM.

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#135 spycake

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 01:36 PM

But Nick... last year he almost hit .300 after his adjustments. You don't go from .298 to .156 unless there is something seriously wrong. The difference is the foot injury. I think he will be fine come spring.


Did he have a foot injury in early 2016 and early 2017 too?
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#136 twinssporto

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 01:41 PM

I liked Riverbrian's response to this thread topic.  However, I would like to suggest another idea.  The real fear is that extra year of service time and he becomes good or great...

 

Why not just sign him to a long term extension now?  The Twins should take a flyer and just do it. There are risks to both parties in this scenario but I bet the Twins can get a better deal now than later.  If you think this kid is going to be a great or even an above average player this is a no brainer.   

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On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.


#137 Bill Brown69

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 01:41 PM

My wild bird thought is that the switch of the outfielders last night was a tip. I think that they basically figured out that we have 4 guys who when healthy are starting OF's, not to mention that Krilloff is likely to be ready between July next year and April 2020. Showcase as much flexibility and talent as possible for a potential off-season trade. 


#138 spycake

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 01:42 PM

Then next year start him out in Rochester if he is isn't raking in ST until May to get him warmed up since he is a slow starter.


A September call-up could also provide a bit more data on the "slow starter" theory. I don't really know why, and it could just be random, but the guy has started off very bad in all 4 of his MLB seasons, and finished solid-to-great in his first 3 so far too.
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#139 spycake

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 02:03 PM

Why not just sign him to a long term extension now? The Twins should take a flyer and just do it. There are risks to both parties in this scenario but I bet the Twins can get a better deal now than later. If you think this kid is going to be a great or even an above average player this is a no brainer.


I can't think of any player who has signed extension at a point when he is struggling as badly as Buxton has in 2018.

Keep in mind Buxton is still just a few months removed from talking extension with the Twins last spring, when Nick floated a 6/80 idea here and ultimately a deal didn't get done. I am guessing neither side wants to dramatically alter their position to get a deal done now either.

Just to use some numbers to illustrate, maybe Buxton was looking for that $80 mil last spring and the club was countering with $50 mil. Earlier this thread, Chief threw out $25 mil (which honestly seems appropriate now given his awful year) -- but if you're Buxton, and just turned down $50 mil in pursuit of $80 mil a few months ago, are you really going to be receptive to $25 mil now? And if you are the Twins, you might be insulting him to try reopening negotiations at this point with a dramatically lower offer than last time, especially if you explicitly invoked the potential extra year of control thing as leverage.

I mean, even if on some level it might make some sense for both sides, it just isn't realistic to make it happen right now.
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#140 spycake

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 02:46 PM

Also, just noticed on Buxton's transaction log, as much as he does seem to be injured -- he didn't spend a single day on the DL all of 2016, and only one 15 day stint in mid-2017.

Hopefully 2018 remains the outlier of his MLB career!



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