Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton (shoulder) cleared for baseball activities

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ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - JUNE 02: Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins runs off the field after scoring in the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 02, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - JUNE 02: Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins runs off the field after scoring in the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 02, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins outfielder has been out since early August with a shoulder injury but could be able to begin a rehab assignment soon.

The Minnesota Twins haven’t had much good news on the field this week, but they received some good news off of it prior to Friday’s loss to the Detroit Tigers. Byron Buxton, who has been out since Aug. 3 with a left shoulder subluxation, was cleared for all baseball activities and should be able to begin a rehab assignment soon as he targets a September return according to MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park.

The return of Buxton should help spark a Twins offense that will need to produce thanks to the ineffectiveness of their pitching staff. Before going down, Buxton was having a breakout season at the plate, hitting .262 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI and has been the Twins’ main source of speed on the bases, collecting 14 of the Twins MLB-low 25 stolen bases.

Where Buxton’s main issue right now is the style in which he plays defense. Buxton is an elite defender and thanks to his speed, he can get to balls that most outfielders can’t get to with an 8.4 UZR. While that rating is the second-highest of his career, his tendency to go all-out for catches has landed him on the injured list three times this season (with one from a hit by pitch in June).

With significant splits for the Twins with Buxton in and out of the lineup, it begs the question whether Buxton should tone down his approach in order to stay healthy for the most pivotal part of the season.

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In any event, the Twins will welcome Buxton back to the lineup with open arms as they look to hold on in the American League Central race.

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