Minnesota Twins: 5 players that must step up after Byron Buxton’s injury
By Chris Schad
If there is one player that has already stepped up in the wake of Buxton’s injury, it has been Jake Cave. Before being called up on Aug. 3, Cave’s season was one that made people wonder if he should stay at Triple-A Rochester for the rest of the season. Hitting just .193 on the season with two home runs and nine RBI in 35 games, Cave was compounding those struggles by making mental mistakes in the outfield.
In his latest stint with the Twins, Cave has turned his season around and has become an integral part of the Minnesota lineup. Since being recalled for Buxton, Cave has hit .313/.367/.590 (.957 OPS) while smacking five home runs and driving in 13 RBI. Although he has cooled off recently and is currently recovering from a groin injury, Cave has done what the Twins have asked him to do.
The challenge for Cave is to keep this hot stretch going. While Buxton wasn’t putting up out of this world numbers, the 26-year old needs to keep playing well if the Twins want to mask the sting of losing Buxton for the season. His career numbers suggest that he can at least play at a reasonable level as he hit .265 with 13 HR and 45 RBI during his rookie season in 2017.
The reality is that no player on the Twins roster can match the dynamic style of play that Buxton provided over the first half of the season. However, if they can get a solid effort from most of the players on the roster, they still have enough to make a push into the postseason.