The Minnesota Twins got bad news on their oft-injured center fielder as his shoulder was worse than expected and will require season-ending surgery.
The Minnesota Twins have scuffled without center fielder Byron Buxton in the lineup and things are about to get much tougher. After spending most of the past couple days fearing the worst, the Twins received bad news after Buxton visited a specialist in California on Monday.
After going through a barrage of tests, it was revealed that the left shoulder subluxation that Buxton has been dealing with since Aug. 1 was actually a torn labrum and will require season-ending surgery via Betsy Hefland of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
According to MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, the injury will also put him in a race to begin the 2020 season as the injury has a baseline of a five-to-six month recovery period.
The news is a brutal blow to both the Twins and Buxton, who was enjoying a breakout campaign at the plate. After putting on 21 pounds of muscle in the offseason, Buxton improved dramatically from his 2018 campaign (.156/.183/.200, 0 HR, 4 RBI) to hit a career-high .262 with 10 HR and 46 RBI. He also added an extra element of speed missing from the Twins’ powerful lineup, stealing 14 of Minnesota’s MLB-low 26 stolen bases.
Despite the positives surrounding Buxton’s season (which also included terrific defense in center field), the issue remains his ability to stay on the field. The 25-year old played just 28 games in 2018 and despite the intent of adding muscle to withstand the rigors of a full season, his 2019 season will come to a close after 87 games.
As the Twins look for a way to replace his impact on the lineup, they’ll also need to determine what path to take with Buxton moving forward. It’s unlikely that Buxton will generate much interest on the offseason trade market with a bum shoulder, but the Twins may look to get insurance in case Buxton isn’t the same player (or isn’t ready for spring training) post-surgery.