There are so many things going wrong for the Minnesota Twins that it's easy to lose track of them all.
After losing 10-4 to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, the Twins have fully submerged themselves below .500 and are trending hard in the wrong direction. Sure, the Twins are still a first place team, but leading the AL Central is the ultimate participation trophy and is clearly not an indication of actual talent.
Despite what Rocco Baldelli might say in terms of how much talent there is in the clubhouse, none of it has been showing up lately. The offense remains anemic, the bullpen is a total mess, and the starting pitching is beginning to regress to the mean.
Lost in all of this turmoil is the stunted growth of Byron Buxton.
When healthy, Buxton is an MVP candidate and one of the best players in all of baseball. The problem, which is no secret to Twins fans, is that he's rarely been able to stay healthy long enough to realize his potential.
Buxton recently spent some time on the IL, only to come back and fall into a 0-for-24 slump. He mercifully broke out of that in the Twins 10-4 loss, but it was hard to get excited about it.
Truthfully, it's been hard to get excited about anything with Buxton this year, which seems to defeat the entire purpose of having an MVP-caliber player on your team. Injuries have once again stunted his progression and it sounds like things aren't going to get better any time soon.
Twins manager has depressing update on Byron Buxton's health
We're almost halfway through the season, yet Buxton has yet to take the field for the Twins. As a precaution to preserve his health, Rocco Baldelli has been using Buxton exclusively as a designated hitter in the lineup and a pinch hitter on his days off.
Despite this, Buxton has still missed almost a quarter of the Twins season so far. Keeping him from the field hasn't done much to get him healthy either, as Baldelli admitted this week that Buxton physically cannot play centerfield.
"At this moment in time, and from the beginning of the year, he has not been physically able to play in the outfield," Baldell said. "If he was, he would be out there. If we even thought that it was possible that he could play in the outfield right now, he would be out there. But he can't. He can't. He physically can't.
You simply cannot make this stuff up.
As if the season hasn't already been frsutrating enough, it's this death by a million cuts type of stuff that makes things even worse. It's not as though the Twins are a bad team, becasue Baldelli is right when he says there's a ton of talent in the clubhouse.
The problem is that the season has been full of false starts; the starting pitching looks great but the bats are quiet, payers like Joey Gallo and Carlos Correa start to get hot and then get injured, the offense scores 16 runs one night and then struggles to score more then three over the next five games.
That's the sort of season it's been for the Twins, and the latest update on Buxton's healthy is yet another blow to the waning morale of fans.