Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton returns from IL to start Thursday

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Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins celebrates (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins celebrates (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins was out with concussion-like symptoms but will return for Thursday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox.

The Minnesota Twins are in need of a boost after an eventful homestand. Although they didn’t get the bullpen arm or starter they need to get at next week’s trade deadline, the Twins got some help from within as Byron Buxton was activated from the seven-day concussion protocol list on Thursday.

While some will bicker that the Twins haven’t made a move for their pitching staff, the return of Buxton should mean good things. According to Aaron Gleeman of Baseball Prospectus, the Twins have gone 48-23 with their starting centerfielder in the lineup this season as opposed to 13-17 when he’s not. That includes a recent 3-7 stretch the Twins endured after Buxton began experiencing concussion-like symptoms after a diving catch in Cleveland on July 13.

2018 has been the season that Twins fans have waited for from Buxton as the 25-year old has hit .249 with 9 HR and 42 RBI in 75 games this season. Buxton’s value also extends from beyond his breakout at the plate as he’s continued to play Gold Glove defense in center field and has swiped 13 bases on 16 attempts.

With that type of impact, it’s not a surprise that Buxton is in the lineup and batting ninth for Thursday’s game with the Chicago White Sox.

In a correlating move, the Twins optioned Jake Cave to Triple-A Rochester. Cave has been back and forth between Minnesota and Rochester this season and has posted uninspiring stats (.193, 2 HR, 9 RBI) at the major league level. However, Cave did get the job done at the plate in his most recent stint hitting .333 with a home run and 5 RBI.

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In a separate move, the Twins also recalled Sean Poppen and optioned Devin Smeltzer back to Triple-A Rochester.

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