Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton looks ready to return against Chicago

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) /

The Minnesota Twins will head to Chicago on Tuesday and could have their starting center fielder back in the lineup to battle the White Sox.

If there is one player that has meant more than any other to the Minnesota Twins this season, there would have to be strong consideration to give Byron Buxton that title. With Gold Glove defense that has saved several runs and a bat that is starting to come around, Buxton is starting to develop into the impact player many thought he would be when he was the second overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.

While Buxton has been electric on the field, his main issue these days has been staying on it. The 25-year old went on the injured list for the third time in 2019, when he suffered a left shoulder subluxation while attempting to make a catch on Aug. 3.  While the injury raised questions about his style of play, Buxton has been champing at the bit to come back and began his rehab assignment on Sunday with Single-A Cedar Rapids.

According to KSTP-TV’s Darren Wolfson, that assignment has gone well and barring any setbacks, Buxton could return to the Twins on Tuesday when they open a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox.

In his lone minor league game, Buxton smashed a double into the gap and used his elite speed to wind up on second base in trademark fashion. Although the Kernels used him as a DH, Buxton would also draw a walk and score on a three-run homer by Matt Walner later in the game and would wind up 1-for-3 in Cedar Rapids’ 9-5 loss to Peoria.

Such a performance could be exactly what the Twins need as they have become one-dimensional without Buxton in the lineup. Minnesota hasn’t stolen a single base since Buxton was injured and he currently owns 14 of the Twins MLB-low 25 stolen bases. Of course, he would also be welcomed into the outfield that could shift Max Kepler back out to right field.

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The Kernels will play Peoria again on Monday and assuming Buxton gets through that game without a hiccup, the Twins could have their outfield back to full strength on Tuesday night if Eddie Rosario returns from a hamstring injury. Such a development would be great news in the Twins pursuit of the AL Central title.