No-brainer option for replacing Byron Buxton in Twins lineup

There’s one seemingly no-brainer option.
Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

A sight no Minnesota Twins fan wants to see happened on Wednesday afternoon in Chicago.

Byron Buxton came up limping after trying to steal second base, needing to come out of the game and he replaced by Willli Castro. This happened just two innings into the game, one that ended up being Minnesota’s tenth win in a row but was quickly overshadowed by potential bad news for Buxton.

The Twins said right knee soreness was the reason for the early exit, with Buxton expected to undergo imaging on Friday to determine the extent of the damage. A trip to the IL seems likely for Buxton, although nothing will be known until the results of his MRI come back.

Even if it turns out to be nothing more than a giant injury scare, the Twins would be wise to shut Buxton down and give him some time to rest while giving some playing time to someone who proved they deserve it.

It’s time for the Twins to call Austin Martin back up from Triple-A

One of the tougher decisions the Twins had to make during this ten game winning streak was subtracting Austin Martin from the equation.

He wasn’t playing lights out, but Martin had found ways to meaningfully contribute as a classic jack-of-all-trades player off the end of the bench. He started games in centerfield and left field, spend some time at second base, and entered games as a pinch runner.

Martin was pushed off the roster in favor of Jose Miranda, which based on offensive prowess was the right move. Over the last 18 games since getting called up, Miranda is hitting .315/.339/.519 with an .858 OPS. That’s along the lines of the guy Minnesota thought he’d be last year before some setbacks threw him off track.

It was a close decision between the two, but even when Martin was getting sent down it was clear that he’d be back at some point. Nobody wanted it to be under these circumstances but it’s also one of the scenarios that made sense for him being on the Opening Day roster back in Spring Training.

Martin seemed to be in line to make the initial 26-man roster to provide insurance for Buxton and play center on days he needed off. We saw a mix of that earlier in April but now Martin’s path back to the MLB roster is rather clear after Buxton’s injury.

There will be much larger emphasis placed on Manuel Margot as well, someone the Twins traded for to provide the exact kind of insurance that’s being cashed in now. It’s Martin, though, who provides the most excitement and he’s the no-brainer call Minnesota should make to try and navigate thigns while Buxton recovers.

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