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Front Page: Buxton's Bad Breaks, and the (Futile) Search for Answers

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#21 Nick Nelson

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:09 AM

 

I think the players today are babied quit a bit...sorry. If I stayed home from work every time I had a pain I would not have a job. If a player's contract was restructured based on performance milestones, I bet there would be a lot less whining and sore fingers and toes...You get paid if you sit on the bench too. 

Your takeaway from the past two years is that Buxton should play through pain MORE often?:huh:

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#22 TwinsGuy55422

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:18 AM

I agree that he has made adjustments and I give him credit for that. I just don't think you can say the incidents from 4 or 5 years ago are irrelevant or "outdated" as you say. You cannot tell me that a violent collision with a teammate a few years back might not be related to his migraines last year or his concussion like symptoms this year. I also don't think you can tell me that a guy hurting his wrist simply swinging a bat last year might not be related to previous wrist injuries from aggressive slides into bases and dives for balls in the outfield.

The counter argument is always you can't take away a guy's aggressiveness or you reduce his value and play making ability. While Buxton has done a lot to tone things down, will it be enough to keep the cumulative effects of his concussions and other injuries from putting him out of the game before the age of 30 ? I mean seriously, he could start having recurring concussion symptoms from just running after a flyball in the outfield. Then what? This is why I think his past reckless habits are still part of the discussion and not just misguided venting.
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#23 jkcarew

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:20 AM

 

As I discussed in the article, neither of those plays were reckless. At least in my opinion. You might disagree. There have been countless occasions where he shielded himself to minimize impact against the wall. You don't run around at absurd speeds making the most plays of any CF in baseball and not dive or hit the wall ever. 

Semantics. Let's go with avoidable, instead of reckless. There have been many center fielders in history that were aggressive in attempting difficult catches. Many knew how to mitigate risk while doing so, and, in fact, were rarely injured. Others, including Buxton, don't/didn't know how to do that. Agree that some of his missed time has been unavoidable...the hbp, etc. But, much has been avoidable.

Edited by jkcarew, 07 August 2019 - 10:22 AM.

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#24 Nick Nelson

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:21 AM

 

I agree that he has made adjustments and I give him credit for that. I just don't think you can say the incidents from 4 or 5 years ago are irrelevant or "outdated" as you say. You cannot tell me that a violent collision with a teammate a few years back might not be related to his migraines last year or his concussion like symptoms this year. I also don't think you can tell me that a guy hurting his wrist simply swinging a bat last year might not be related to previous wrist injuries from aggressive slides into bases and dives for balls in the outfield.

I'm not saying that at all. In fact I do suspect that his wrist issues last year were tied to previous significant injuries, and I'm always going to be a little worried about that left wrist. But there's nothing he can do about any of that now. He hasn't collided with any teammates or hurt his wrist by diving in the past two years. 


#25 rdehring

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:27 AM

Thanks, Nick.

 

Have been thinking about a possible contract extension this winter.Do they offer something similar to Kepler/Polanco, which would be low for someone with Buxton's talent?Then also build in bonuses for number of games played, say beginning at 120?  

 

Problem I see with that is Buxton's agent would say, "so you are penalizing him for playing hard and being who he is and what makes him great?"

 

Don't know what they do, other than they gotta keep him long term and on the field.


#26 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:33 AM

Thanks, Nick.

Have been thinking about a possible contract extension this winter. Do they offer something similar to Kepler/Polanco, which would be low for someone with Buxton's talent? Then also build in bonuses for number of games played, say beginning at 120?

Problem I see with that is Buxton's agent would say, "so you are penalizing him for playing hard and being who he is and what makes him great?"

Don't know what they do, other than they gotta keep him long term and on the field.


IMO, this is exactly what is likely to happen and if people thought the relationship between the Buxton camp and the Twins FO was strained before, this will be a “you ain’t seen nothing yet” moment. It could get so bad that the Twins are all but forced to trade him.

I said elsewhere that the Twins should have Lewis focus on CF because the chances of Buxton being in a Twins uniform beyond 2022 are almost nil.

#27 Nick Nelson

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 11:05 AM

 

Thanks, Nick.

 

Have been thinking about a possible contract extension this winter.Do they offer something similar to Kepler/Polanco, which would be low for someone with Buxton's talent?Then also build in bonuses for number of games played, say beginning at 120?  

 

Problem I see with that is Buxton's agent would say, "so you are penalizing him for playing hard and being who he is and what makes him great?"

 

Don't know what they do, other than they gotta keep him long term and on the field.

I touched on this over the winter when advocating for the Twins to sign Buxton to an extension:

 

Yes, there is a chance that Buxton never quite figures it out, or his injury woes prevent him from ever being a truly productive player. It's a bigger chance than it was a year ago. In his own mind, Buxton needs to account for that reality, and so does his agent. Which is why a long-term extension makes all the sense in the world for both sides right now.

 

I'm not sure why Buxton or his agent would view an extension in the Polanco/Kepler realm as some sort of affront. All this season has done is reinforce the fact that Buxton's health will likely always be an issue, and potentially a threat to his career. The Twins would be doing him a favor by guaranteeing him a bunch of money; I'd think relenting a couple FA seasons at a bargain rate would be a fair thing to give up in exchange.


#28 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 11:18 AM

I touched on this over the winter when advocating for the Twins to sign Buxton to an extension:


I'm not sure why Buxton or his agent would view an extension in the Polanco/Kepler realm as some sort of affront. All this season has done is reinforce the fact that Buxton's health will likely always be an issue, and potentially a threat to his career. The Twins would be doing him a favor by guaranteeing him a bunch of money; I'd think relenting a couple FA seasons at a bargain rate would be a fair thing to give up in exchange.


The Twins only guaranteed Kepler $35 mil over 5 years. Given the injuries and the substantially lower offensive production, I don’t see the Twins offering Buxton more. I would say quite a bit less is far more likely and far more likely to be flatly rejected.

#29 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 11:42 AM

The Twins only guaranteed Kepler $35 mil over 5 years. Given the injuries and the substantially lower offensive production, I don’t see the Twins offering Buxton more. I would say quite a bit less is far more likely and far more likely to be flatly rejected.


Substantially lower offensive production?
Kepler signed his extension before his offensive breakout this year.
His previous 3 seasons OPS+ were 97,95, and 96.
If you toss out last season, when something clearly wasn't right with Buxton all year, he'll have a better 3 season OPS+ than Kepler had.

Even if you INCLUDE last year, Buxton has a chance to get his career OPS+ within 5% of what Kepler's was going into his extension talks.

#30 ewen21

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 01:04 PM

Semantics. Let's go with avoidable, instead of reckless. There have been many center fielders in history that were aggressive in attempting difficult catches. Many knew how to mitigate risk while doing so, and, in fact, were rarely injured. Others, including Buxton, don't/didn't know how to do that. Agree that some of his missed time has been unavoidable...the hbp, etc. But, much has been avoidable.


Willie Mays and Jpe DiMaggio had superior defensive skills. Rarely--if ever--did they crash into things. I heard an old timer call in a radio show years ago and he said DiMaggio rarely ever dove for a ball.

That's the thing. With Buxton's world class speed and touted "athleticism" he should make things look easy. He has crashed into walls on balls he had literally no chance of catching. The line drive Nelson Cruz smashed over the wall in Seattle is an example of this.

I agree with you. Nothing ridiculous about getting this message across. If he keeps going like this (with his migraines and concussions mounting) he might be significantly slowed down or out of the league sooner than expected
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#31 ewen21

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 01:11 PM

Substantially lower offensive production?
Kepler signed his extension before his offensive breakout this year.
His previous 3 seasons OPS+ were 97,95, and 96.
If you toss out last season, when something clearly wasn't right with Buxton all year, he'll have a better 3 season OPS+ than Kepler had.

Even if you INCLUDE last year, Buxton has a chance to get his career OPS+ within 5% of what Kepler's was going into his extension talks.

.

Toss out last year because something wasn't right with him?

That doesn't work in sports. We aren't at the roulette wheel.

Let's talk about what last year was: He had migraine issues and a concussion. The Twins cannot ignore these issues as they continue to mount

#32 Steve Lein

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 02:14 PM

To play contrarian, he has missed time on several occasions from running into walls. In these past 2 years he just didn't get placed on the IL and missed only a few games:

 

April 3rd through 5th (pinch ran on the 3rd) -> http://www.startribu...wall/508040142/,

 

May 28th & 29th -> https://www.mlb.com/...all-leaves-game

 

May 27th, 2018 -> https://www.mlb.com/...ury-c2087940783

 

My 4th, 2017 (missed 2 days) -> https://www.mlb.com/...jury-c228309144

 

July 8th, 2016 (missed basically 3 weeks) -> (http://www.espn.com/...mlb/id/16905241

 

He's gotten lucky that these recent events haven't put him out longer, in my opinion. The events mentioned in the article I agree are mostly unlucky, but he continues to walk a very tight rope that he has fallen off of several times already when it comes to walls. 

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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#33 markos

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 02:29 PM

 

To play contrarian, he has missed time on several occasions from running into walls. In these past 2 years he just didn't get placed on the IL and missed only a few games:

 

April 3rd through 5th (pinch ran on the 3rd) -> http://www.startribu...wall/508040142/,

 

May 28th & 29th -> https://www.mlb.com/...all-leaves-game

 

May 27th, 2018 -> https://www.mlb.com/...ury-c2087940783

 

My 4th, 2017 (missed 2 days) -> https://www.mlb.com/...jury-c228309144

 

July 8th, 2016 (missed basically 3 weeks) -> (http://www.espn.com/...mlb/id/16905241

 

He's gotten lucky that these recent events haven't put him out longer, in my opinion. The events mentioned in the article I agree are mostly unlucky, but he continues to walk a very tight rope that he has fallen off of several times already when it comes to walls. 

He also get pulled out of the playoff game in 2017 after colliding with the wall early in the game. I don't know if that would have led to a IL stint had the Twins won that game, but it should be noted.

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#34 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 02:38 PM

Like I said, no evidence that he’s evolved. He’s been luckier over some of that span.

I also agree that “reckless” isn’t the word to use when describing his collisions. Avoidable is.
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#35 Nick Nelson

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 05:46 PM

 

Like I said, no evidence that he’s evolved. He’s been luckier over some of that span.

I also agree that “reckless” isn’t the word to use when describing his collisions. Avoidable is.

Nelson Cruz could've probably avoided hurting his wrist if he swung less hard. Mitch Garver could avoid foul tips exposing him to concussion risk if he moved to another position.

 

Do you want to take away the parts of these guys' games that primarily fuel their value in the name of lowering risk that is always going to be inherent to playing this game at the highest level? 

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#36 ewen21

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 07:14 PM

Nelson Cruz could've probably avoided hurting his wrist if he swung less hard. Mitch Garver could avoid foul tips exposing him to concussion risk if he moved to another position.

Do you want to take away the parts of these guys' games that primarily fuel their value in the name of lowering risk that is always going to be inherent to playing this game at the highest level?


And I could get killed crossing the street.

#37 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 07:21 PM

Nelson Cruz could've probably avoided hurting his wrist if he swung less hard. Mitch Garver could avoid foul tips exposing him to concussion risk if he moved to another position.

Do you want to take away the parts of these guys' games that primarily fuel their value in the name of lowering risk that is always going to be inherent to playing this game at the highest level?


Lots of guys play CF. A lot of them even play it pretty well. They don’t land on the DL 2-3 times per year. Every year. There’s this one guy. He plays in LA. And another, I think just down I 35 a ways.

#38 mikelink45

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:08 PM

I have put up the Blog I promised - 

I hope you enjoy the historic comparison.

 

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#39 Nick Nelson

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:46 PM

Great stuff mike! That's an awesome historical comp.

 

Also, I loved this line: "You can not legislate injuries. No rules can eliminate the dangers for men who are taught to always play hard." Perfectly stated. 

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#40 jkcarew

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 10:41 AM

 

Great stuff mike! That's an awesome historical comp.

 

Also, I loved this line: "You can not legislate injuries. No rules can eliminate the dangers for men who are taught to always play hard." Perfectly stated. 

The notion that the injuries related to Buxton's play in the outfield are the inevitable result of "playing hard" is beyond simplistic. There is a real and material aspect that impacts the likelihood of injury...they are abilities. One is the ability to be aware of your surroundings, even when things are happening fast around you. Another is the ability to comprehend the difference between good risks and bad risks. Buxton does not consistently demonstrate these abilities and it absolutely 100% contributes to his issues.

 

Quarterbacks who looks like they're going to be killed, but are always able to get down at the last second...are they just lucky?...or are they not playing hard...or are they just good at recognizing where they (and others) are as the play unfolds? Quarterbacks who run out of bounds on first and second down, rather than going for the extra yards...are they not playing hard? Or are they just smart?

 

On Wednesday against Atlanta, Jake Cave made an extremely 'hard'/aggressive play on a ball hit over the fence. He made very hard contact with the wall. But, he wasn't injured and it wasn't the result of good luck. He went after the ball in an effective way (if the ball had been hit just a couple of feet shorter, he would have caught it)...but, he did so in a manner that protected his limbs and his head...he did so in a way that mitigated the risk/likelihood of injury. He could make that exact same attempt...successfully making the play on occasion...100 times without sustaining an injury beyond sore ribs.




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