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Byroon Buxton signed a long extension with the Twins. This winter along with his skills, he also become the face of the franchise and many fans were gratified that he would either be a great player for the Twins or he would be injured. 

Buxton's full toolbox had become more full when he was on the field last year, demonstrating top-grade power, an elite OPS fueled by that power while continuing to be a threat on the bases and as good as it gets in the outfield. The fly in the ointment, of course, is and was injuries. Buxton only played 61 games and accrued an insane 4.5 WAR (per BBRef).

This year Buck has played in 22 of the Twins first 33 games and has been used as a DH in six of those games. So far, he has been a half-time center fielder. I am totally mystified in the handling of this great talent. Let's discuss if there is a plan, and how the plan is supposed to work going forward and whether this makes sense for the club.

I am not on twitter or other social media sites, so perhaps some of this is not a surprise to others on Twins Daily. I would appreciate being up to speed what is out there in the public in the handling of Byron Buxton.

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1 minute ago, CRF said:

I'm not really smart enough to figure out Rocco's plan on anything. I can't tell if there is one. My two cents are...if Buxton isn't hurt, he HAS to in the line up. If not in CF, which is definitely preferable, then as the DH. 

I don’t think this is a Rocco alone decision. But it certainly is frustrating. Buxton needs to play. Not sure what the ailment is now, or if the powers that be think … what, I don’t know. But this isn’t Rocco calling the shots.

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Last I heard Buxton had that "mild" hip strain (about week ago?) and it seems like they are trying to ease him back in as slowly as possible to avoid reaggravating it.  I think he was out for a couple of months the last time he had a hip strain so I guess I can understand the "abundance" of caution.  Still he is so integral to the Twins success that it is hard not to see him out in the field influencing games.  The more they can keep him healthy the more games he can play the better the odds this team finds the Post Season.  I would expect that we can continue to expect this will be the new normal for handling Buxton this season.

Hopefully Celestino can help bridge the gap when Buxton is out.  He has been a tough out so far this season and pretty decent defensively himself.  If we have a decent guy backing him up it won't be such a  large drop-off in production on both sides of the ball.

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24 minutes ago, CRF said:

Do you think it's coming from Fal-Vine? Obviously, if he's hurt, that's different, but if he isn't...he needs to be out there. 

I don’t know where it’s coming from … probably by committee … not really sure, but I don’t think it’s Rocco’s decision alone. And I agree … he needs to be out there

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3 hours ago, Craig Arko said:

Perhaps that is what’s happening.

I don't know... It could be Rocco off the chain. 

Something like this... maybe? 

(Cell Phone Rings)

Rocco: Hey Derek

Derek: Have you seen the med report that arrived this morning. 

Rocco: Of course not... You know I don't read those things.

Thad: Rocco... you really should read those things. 

Rocco: Guys... we've been through this... I didn't go to Med School.. It does me no good to read this bull (Interrupted).  

Thad: (Shouting) Open up the damn email... read the report.

Derek: Rocco... We employ medical staff. They gather this information for (Interuppted).

Thad: (Shouting) Open the Email... (Banging heard from Thad's head hitting the table)

Rocco: OK OK OK... Hold on... (Pause) OK... Got it... it's open. 

Derek: Scroll down to Buxton. The PT's are saying he's good to go, range of motion is 100%, he's reporting no pain, Specialists say the imaging is clean. 

Rocco: See... Here's the problem... This first sentence is confusing... What's an Iliacus. How am I supposed to know what that is? 

Derek: Nevermind... the report says that Buxton is good to go. The report says he's good to go. So is he in the lineup tonight?  

Rocco: He is not

Derek and Thad in Unison: Why not?

Rocco: I don't want him to get hurt. 

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Today's game is over and it was apparent in the late innings that Buxton would be a non-participant. I have questions about his status. 

1) Is there a specific injury?

2) Will Buxton be receiving days off until he has totally recovered from the injury?

3) Was there a plan in place to give Buxton days off prior to his injury in Boston? How about the hip injury that occurred this week?

4) Who is determining whether Buxton can play?

The club already seems to want Buxton to not risk injury by stealing bases and further it seems they are using him as a DH to also limit injury risk. So far, I would say, success has been limited. He missed a game or two from being hit by a pitch, he missed nearly a week sliding awkwardly running out a pop fly and now (apparently) he will miss more time with a hip injury suffered when trying to beat a double play relay. None of those things have happened in the outfield. 

What I'm seeing is a wonderfully gifted athlete being limited from doing things that demonstrate that he is a gifted athlete.                           

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4 hours ago, Craig Arko said:

Perhaps that is what’s happening.

No, medical teams are clearing him, but he refuses to play through pain. It doesn't matter the incentives. Letting his teammates down. Upsetting the fans. Sparking conspiracy theories on Twins Daily. Rocco is at his wit's end

 

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1 minute ago, shortround81 said:

No, medical teams are clearing him, but he refuses to play through pain. It doesn't matter the incentives. Letting his teammates down. Upsetting the fans. Rocco is at his wit's end

 

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I don't think Buxton or the Twins are worried about upsetting fans. Although perhaps they should. But whatever is going on they're not going to tell the fans anything close to the truth. So sit back and wait for Baldelli to post the lineup and then either sigh or cuss 

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5 minutes ago, Schmoeman5 said:

I don't think Buxton or the Twins are worried about upsetting fans. Although perhaps they should. But whatever is going on they're not going to tell the fans anything close to the truth. So sit back and wait for Baldelli to post the lineup and then either sigh or cuss 

I don't know that facts. What I do know drives me up the wall. Why can't Baldelli or the front office tell us the facts? 

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1 minute ago, Schmoeman5 said:

I don't think Buxton or the Twins are worried about upsetting fans. Although perhaps they should. But whatever is going on they're not going to tell the fans anything close to the truth. So sit back and wait for Baldelli to post the lineup and then either sigh or cuss 

Exactly. There are three sides to every story. This side. That side. The truth.

Questioning the front office's, manager's, or Buxton's decision to play is not going to help the club win as many games as possible.

Are we more likely to win ballgames with Buxton in the lineup? Yes. Am I willing to risk shaving years off of his career to have a fun 2022? No.

Also, it's May 14th. If on August 29th Buxton is batting .208, are we going to cate?

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34 minutes ago, tony&rodney said:

Maybe, but who is "he"? The usage is confounding and no PH appearance? Why? Ok, lots of questions but aren'y you confused?

Does Buxton decide when he plays or sits. Sorry to confuse others but Buxton seems like a pawn in suspension ... should we use this guy .... or wait a few days .... well maybe tomorrow. 

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3 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

I don't know that facts. What I do know drives me up the wall. Why can't Baldelli or the front office tell us the facts? 

I don't know. But just for comparison look at what's going on with Kirilloff. The Twins are saying 1 thing and the Kirilloff camp is saying something completely different.  

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2 minutes ago, Schmoeman5 said:

I don't know. But just for comparison look at what's going on with Kirilloff. The Twins are saying 1 thing and the Kirilloff camp is saying something completely different.  

Please expound. What is the contention between the Twins and "the Kirilloff camp"?

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9 hours ago, stringer bell said:

Pleas

9 hours ago, stringer bell said:
9 hours ago, stringer bell said:

Please expound. What is the contention between the Twins and "the Kirilloff camp"?

 

 

The Twins are saying that the surgery went fine and there's nothing else that can be done to remedy it. They acknowledge the pain aspect. The Kirilloff camp is suggesting a follow up procedure to widen the gap between the bones that are rubbing together.

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6 minutes ago, shortround81 said:

Why are they obligated to tell us anything? Because we want to know?

If the organization wants support from the fans, I would think that they can and should be trusted. I can understand privacy issues to a degree, but beyond that, these are public people. There are daily reports about injuries, why should the team shroud Buxton's status in mystery?

I remember TK saying that he would never give Puckett a day off at home, because fans came to see him play. If fans love what Buxton brings (I think they do), it has to be disappointing seeing him in the dugout chewing seeds, but not playing.

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Thanks Schmoeman5. I'm not able to quote you, but it is interesting. I do imagine that medical people have given their opinion and eventually the team will relent if Kirilloff isn't able to produce. 

In Buxton's case, are we dealing with an ongoing injury or is this some maintenance? I do think they owe it to the fans who support the team by buying gear and tickets to tell us what is going on.

 

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5 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

If the organization wants support from the fans, I would think that they can and should be trusted. I can understand privacy issues to a degree, but beyond that, these are public people. There are daily reports about injuries, why should the team shroud Buxton's status in mystery?

I remember TK saying that he would never give Puckett a day off at home, because fans came to see him play. If fans love what Buxton brings (I think they do), it has to be disappointing seeing him in the dugout chewing seeds, but not playing.

That was unfortunately a different era. Think of it more like politics instead of baseball. By spooning us just enough to keep us begging for more. I honestly don't believe it has anything to do with incentives. I believe he has discomfort and for now they're playing it safe because of past history

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1 minute ago, Schmoeman5 said:

That was unfortunately a different era. Think of it more like politics instead of baseball. By spooning us just enough to keep us begging for more. I honestly don't believe it has anything to do with incentives. I believe he has discomfort and for now they're playing it safe because of past history

I am not a medical professional. If the club wants to play it safe, they should put him on the IL (IMHO). Playing about a third of the games a man short really reduces the chances of winning.

I understand it is a bit of a different era. I also get that Buxton has a really long injury history for a 28-year old man, but to diminish him by not playing in the field and sitting for scheduled days off when he's already missed so many games with injury seems wrongheaded.

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This whole situation is baffling. If he’s healthy and this is just precaution, why was he shut down to the point that he was in warmup clothes and wasnt even available to Pinch run/hit in extras? He even had an opportunity in extras to PH the DH spot.

 
but there seems to be a consensus that “this isn’t Buxton’s decision”. But there’s a huge disconnect there. Remember the year he got hurt, came back and sucked, and was optioned down to AAA and talked grievance against the twins for sending down (even though, again, he was horrendous that year. He had an OPS+ of 5. Yes, 5). You’re telling me that same guy is “not hurt”, has an incentive laden contract, and is “ok” with the team just telling him “nope you’re not even suiting up today”

 

It just doesn’t add up. 

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While I believe days off are a necessary thing in keeping a player healthy, sometimes game situations require said player to be become available. Tonight's game presented such a situation and its not even the first time its happened this season. Buxton could have hit for either Miranda or Gordon in the 10th and could have also hit for Celestino in the 8th. If/when the situation warrants it, a player on the bench needs to be ready to enter the game, not content that he has the day off and that will not change. It shortens the bench and hurts the team.

Teams already start with a short bench, so play him when needed whether its a start, a pinch hit/run, or defensive replacement or IL him. And I don't just mean Buxton.

 

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7 hours ago, tony&rodney said:

Does Buxton decide when he plays or sits. Sorry to confuse others but Buxton seems like a pawn in suspension ... should we use this guy .... or wait a few days .... well maybe tomorrow. 

I think it’s very naive to assume he doesn’t have any say. Again, grievances are a thing. AND he has a history of at least threatening one in 2018 when he was putrid and didn’t like being sent down to the minors. 
 
He has an incentive heavy deal. If he truly didn’t have any say in whether he played, that has grievance written ALL over it. Hes played very well when he’s in the lineup and hes  potentially missing out on literally millions by not playing. 
 
 

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