Minnesota Twins: 5 players that must step up after Byron Buxton’s injury

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Jake Cave of the Minnesota Twins rounds the bases after hitting a triple. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Jake Cave of the Minnesota Twins rounds the bases after hitting a triple. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins
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Ian Miller

While Buxton’s impact offensively will be missed, a bigger void will be his speed in the lineup. Buxton’s speed was a great asset in the outfield (and with his tendency to run into walls, it could be a detriment), but perhaps it was a bigger asset when he was in the lineup on an every day basis.

When Buxton initially went down with his injury, he was among the leaders in the American League with 30 doubles even though most of them didn’t run a gap, but Buxton used his speed to make it happen. On the basepaths, Buxton was also a terror, swiping 16 of the Twins’ MLB-low 26 stolen bases.

Ian Miller isn’t going to turn anybody’s head with an at-bat (and his strikeout from Sunday may be the only at-bat he gets during his stint in Minnesota), but he could make up for the loss of Buxton’s speed in the outfield and specifically on the basepaths.

Miller has yet to attempt a stolen base at the major league level, but he was a stolen base king during his seven seasons in the minor leagues. Between the Twins and Mariners organizations, Miller stole 243 bases on 294 attempts, which turns out to be a success rate of 82.6%.

Miller isn’t going to make up for the loss of Buxton in the lineup, but as a late-inning pinch-runner or defensive replacement, he could do enough to make an impact.

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