Now admittedly, with a title like that, optimism is on full display. However, take heed, as much negativity seems to spring from a constant report of injuries, the narrative may actually be different. Byron Buxton is just 20 years old and still has a very strong career ahead of him.
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The story out of the Arizona Fall League on Monday was that of Buxton suffering yet another injury. After missing much of 2014 due to a wrist injury, the belief was that he dislocated a finger making a play on an outfield ball. It turns out that he jammed his finger and was removed for precautionary reasons.
Before we get into why there is no reason to worry, it may make sense to set the table. Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press cataloged Byron Buxton’s latest injuries yesterday.
Now, while the list appears wrong, an analysis of it shows much less reason for concern. Outside of a somewhat concerning shoulder injury, most of the time missed was do to maladies that simply needed some time to heal. None of Buxton’s injuries have been serious to the extent of being detrimental to his career.
If you remember correctly, it was over the summer that Buxton was concussed diving for a ball. He collided with teammate Mike Kvasnicka. Although concussions are serious, and the play looked gruesome, the injury in and of itself wasn’t one to consider long term ramifications.
At 20 years old, Byron Buxton is still learning how to play 162 games in a season. That understanding comes with knowing how to take care of your body, both on and off of the field. Buxton doesn’t play with reckless abandon, but his outstanding athletic ability tends to put him in positions that could lead to an increased injury risk.
As the Twins call upon their number one prospect to make his debut at Target Field, expect the major league training staff to work with him as well. Understanding how to dive, slide, and jump are all little things that major leaguers must protect if they want to have a shot at playing through a full season.
It is definitely unfortunate that Byron Buxton has found himself injured so often in his young career. However, it is very comforting to know that with a young body, he can rebound quickly, and continue to teach his body different ways to respond and react.
The Twins seem to be one of the most unlucky franchises in all of sports when it comes to injuries. At this point though, let’s not throw Byron Buxton up as the top dog on that list.
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