While the Minnesota Twins were able to bounce back from a frustrating loss on Friday night with a win over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, the victory was a bit tainted.
If not tainted, the win was certainly tinged in anxiety after Byron Buxton left the game early with an undisclosed something. It didn’t appear as though he had suffered an obvious injury, which was only cause for more concern given the times we’ve seen that happen to Twins players this year only to later result in a stint on the injured list.
Buxton was due to bat in the top of the sixth inning, but it was Edouard Julien who stepped to the plate instead.
Twins fans don’t need to be reminded of how fragile Buxton has been over the years, and how losing him has significantly impacted the performance of the lineup. In a sort of preservative measure, Minnesota traded for Michael A. Taylor in order to provide some flexibility and to potentially help spackle the lineup if Buxton were to be lost to an injury.
With Taylor at his disposal, Rocco Baldelli has been using Buxton as the Twins designated hitter since Opening Day which means we’ve yet to see him actually play in the field.
This makes a potential injury even more frustrated to confront.
Rocco Baldelli provides Byron Buxton injury update after leaving Angels game early
After the game Rocco Baldelli gave up update on Buxton’s status, stating that he was pulled as a precaution due to some tightness around his knee. It doesn’t sound like Buxton is going to be spending any time on the IL, though, which is encouraging for the moment.
This is very much a situation worth monitoring, not only because it involves the Twins best player. Buxton isn’t heading to the IL right away but this seems to follow pattern we’ve seen all season where a player in Buxton’s position eventually ends up there.
Max Kepler left a game against Miami with knee soreness after running out an infield single only to be placed on the IL a handful of days later. Joey Gallo was in an almost identical situation to Buxton, getting pinch hit for in a game against the Astros with him later hitting the IL with right side soreness.
In both instances, Rocco said after the game that the players wouldn’t be heading ot the IL and would simply be held out of the lineup for assessment and evaluation. That ultimately led to both players hitting the IL a few days later, and the ingredients are here for the same thing to happen with Buxton.
Hopefully that’s not the case with Buxton, but it would be yet another injury setback for the Twins.