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.)