Minnesota Twins fans collectively held their breath on Thursday night when a Peyton Battenfield pitch struck Byron Buxton squarely in the ribs.
It was the last thing fans wanted to see, not only for the obvious immediacy of the injury but because it was Buxton on the other end of the situation. Buxton’s health has been a source of anxiety throughout his career in Minnesota and preserving his health is something manager Rocco Baldelli has been extra intentional about so far this season.
Buxton has yet to play the field, serving exclusively as the Twins designated hitter on nights he’s in the lineup. Fans have already been subjected to an injury scare this season when Buxton needed to leave a game in April against the White Sox after getting flipped into the air after a collision on the base paths.
Once again Buxton needed to leave a game early, this time with what the team eventually described as ‘rib soreness’.
Broken was the word fans were looking for, but that has yet to be used as a description for the extent of the injury. In fact, it appears Buxton avoided breaking his ribs despite how gnarly the injury appeared.
Twins give latest Byron Buxton injury update
On Friday the Twins gave an extremely hopeful update on Buxton’s health, confirming that his ribs were not broken and he wouldn’t need to miss any extended time. The news isn’t exactly great, though, as the expectation appears to be that Buxton could miss ‘several days’.
Minnesota also gave an update on Carlos Correa, who also left Thursday’s win over the Guardians early. Correa has been dealing with planter fasciitis, which apparently flared up on him before his exit but doesn’t appear to be the issue everyone is fearing it might become.
It’s been a rough season of injury luck so far for the Twins. Max Kepler, Kenta Maeda, Tyler Mahle, Kyle Farmer, and Jorge Polanco have all spent time out of the lineup or on the injured list. Joey Gallo was scratched from Friday’s game at the last second, which doesn’t bode well consider he’s also been bitten by the injury bug this season.
Minnesota has managed to tread water without its best lineup being consistently healthy, and not losing Buxton for an extend period of time truly feels like a crisis was averted.