Minnesota Twins: 5 questions for the Twins heading into September

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 28: Jake Cave #60, Jorge Polanco #11, and Jonathan Schoop #16 of the Minnesota Twins celebrate the 8-2 victory against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 28: Jake Cave #60, Jorge Polanco #11, and Jonathan Schoop #16 of the Minnesota Twins celebrate the 8-2 victory against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 07: Asdrubal Cabrera #14 of the Texas Rangers tags out Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins at third base to complete a double play during the fifth inning of the game on July 7, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rangers defeated the Twins 4-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 07: Asdrubal Cabrera #14 of the Texas Rangers tags out Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins at third base to complete a double play during the fifth inning of the game on July 7, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rangers defeated the Twins 4-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Can Byron Buxton stay healthy?

The 2019 season has been a mixed bag for Byron Buxton as he tries to live up to the expectations stemming from his rapid rise through the organization. The good news is that Buxton has taken a major step forward at the plate hitting .262 with 10 HR and 46 RBI. He’s also kept up his elite defense in center field with an 8.8 UZR, which is the second-highest of his career.

The issue with Buxton has been his health. While the 25-year old has played in 82 games this season, his variety of ailments has taken him off the field, which makes the Twins a far less effective team.

While the Twins have gone 57-25 with Buxton in the lineup this season, their record slumps to 25-26 when he doesn’t play. The Twins also become a much more one-dimensional team with Buxton on the shelf, as the speedster owns 14 of the Twins MLB-low 26 stolen bases.

Buxton’s style of play has been under ridicule in recent weeks and the performance of Jake Cave (hitting .367/.424/.717 with five HR in August) has helped soften the blow of his left shoulder subluxation that knocked him out of the lineup on Aug. 3. However, the Twins will need Buxton to go where they want to go and getting him healthy must be a key priority.

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