Twins Notes: Buxton, Milone, Suzuki, Willingham

Twins GM Terry Ryan was on-hand in New Britain tonight to see top prospect Byron Buxton‘s Double-A debut, but the evening took a scary turn for the five-tool center fielder. Buxton collided with right fielder Mike Kvasnicka and was unconscious on the field for roughly 10 minutes before being driven away in an ambulance and has been diagnosed with a concussion, Ryan said on the MiLBtv broadcast (Twitter links via’s Ash Marshall). It’s been a lost season for the consensus top prospect in baseball, who had already missed much of the season with wrist injuries. Ryan notes that the injury could have been much worse, and reports indicate that Kvasnicka, a Minnesota native whom the Twins acquired from the Astros in minor trade last season, was able to walk off the field (though he, too, was taken to the hospital as a precaution).

More links on what has been a scary night for the Twins organization…

  • Recently acquired left-hander Tommy Milone tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he isn’t worried about the fact that the Twins may have stashed him in the minor leagues for a week in order to delay his free agency by a season. Milone will finish the year just shy of three full years of service time but said, “…as long as I’m here, I’m happy. You never know what’s going to happen four years from now.” As Berardino points out, Milone will still qualify for arbitration this offseason as a Super Two player, which lessens the sting a bit. Berardino notes that both Travis Wood and Ivan Nova had comparable ERAs and innings totals to Milone heading into arbitration, and the duo received first-time salaries of $3.9MM and $3.3MM, respectively.
  • Berardino also summarizes the Twins’ trades to this point, noting that the club saved approximately $7.93MM by trading Kendrys Morales, Kevin Correia and Josh Willingham. He also has a third piece noting that Kurt Suzuki is on pace to earn all $500K of his playing time bonuses after already receiving a $25K bonus for making the All-Star team. That would boost his salary from $2.75MM to $3.275MM.
  • Speaking of Willingham, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer runs down some reasons that the Indians neglected to claim the former Twin on waivers — a decision that resulted in the division-rival Royals landing him. The Indians, who had interest in Willingham as a free agent back in 2011-12 and recently lost David Murphy and Nick Swisher to the DL, didn’t want to pay the remaining $2MM on Willingham’s contract. They also were hesitant about his injury history and didn’t want to block playing time from younger players.

16 Responses to Twins Notes: Buxton, Milone, Suzuki, Willingham Leave a Reply

  1. Karl Larson 11 months ago

    Terry Ryan “saving lots of money” and Byron Buxton’s concussion are two very disconcerting things for Twins fans to hear about.

    • Sky14 11 months ago

      Are we still going to run with the Twins are cheap narrative after they spent the 6th most this past off-season? (5th if you include the Morales signing) The Twins traded three, expensive, under-performing, soon-to-be free agents for prospects. Seems like a smart decision to me.

      • RaysfaninMN 11 months ago

        I agree it is a smart decision. The real question is where will that money saved end up?
        Knowing the Twins, the Pohlads just got themselves another yacht.

    • Why? 8 million is not an insignificant amount of money, especially when you consider that none of the pieces moved would be around next year anyway.

  2. twins33 11 months ago

    Well that seals it for me. I think the Twins should shut down Buxton for the year. Maybe let him do the AFL, but figure that out later. I know they select players sometime this month. Let him be selected, but if you have to take him out of it later then do that.

    After Morneau’s took 3-4 years to not be an issue and Mauer’s took around 3’s just too risky and not worth it. They both had concussions before, I don’t know if that’s the case for Buxton, but there is no longer a point to put him back out there. He was laying on the ground for 10 minutes knocked out. It’s just not worth it. Get him rested and ready for the AFL or for a spring training invite.

    • Karl Larson 11 months ago

      This is Buxton’s first concussion. Justin had a lot of them in his hockey playing days. Big difference.

      • twins33 11 months ago

        And I mentioned that already. Though I did say I didn’t know how many Buxton has had.

        I don’t think being unconscious for 10 minutes should be ignored either, first concussion or not. It looked like he ran into a brick wall. I was worried about a neck injury or paralysis when I heard he wasn’t moving. He is lucky it’s “only” a concussion, even though that’s a big deal too.

        • Melvin Mendoza, Jr. 11 months ago

          I noticed the Twins GM said “We are grateful for the concussion.”

          Odd thing to say even in context.

          • twins33 11 months ago

            Yeah, it definitely is odd, but it’s also one of the “best case scenarios” considering most people were thinking he was paralyzed or broke his neck. A concussion, compared to those two things, is a lot better diagnosis…even with how bad concussions can be.

          • Melvin Mendoza, Jr. 11 months ago

            Yeah, I get what he means. He just worded it an extremely weird way.

          • CrisE 11 months ago

            The org has seen the down side of these collisions before. Jason Kubel was the darling of the AFL in 2004 when he ran into a 2b and blew up his knee horribly. (Best comp from the medical staff was to an automobile accident victim.) Lots of worse things possible.

  3. section 34 11 months ago

    After the poor season of hitting he had in A-ball, Buxton isn’t still the “consensus top prospect in baseball,” is he? It’s a grammatical point, and I see from his B-R page that he was everybody’s No. 1 before the season, but still.

    • twins33 11 months ago

      Not sure you can really look at his stats this year. He’s played in 31 games. MASSIVE small sample size. He’s hurt one wrist twice, causing him to miss significant time. Then he got HBP on another wrist and missed a week or so. Now he has a concussion. He hasn’t been right all season, barely played, and player’s wrist is very important obviously.

      Not sure if it’s fair to remove him from #1 when it’s not like he’s played terribly. He’s barely played due to injury. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has been bumped a little. Injury is usually taken into account.

      Last I saw, in July, Baseball America still had him as #1. Keith Law bumped him to #2 (Bryant #1). Baseball Prospectus still had him at #1 I believe. Not sure if MLB has done a midseason one.

      • Sky14 11 months ago

        Mlb and baseball America had him remain at number 1. While Law had him number 2 because of injury (and Bryant’s play) he mentioned that Buxton could be put at number 1 and he wouldn’t argue with it. The consensus is, as long as the injuries don’t linger he is the top prospect in baseball, the concussion is a shame, hopefully he has a good recovery.

        • section 34 11 months ago

          Well, let’s hope. But similarly with Manny Machado, after a while you do wonder if staying healthy is a skill Buxton possesses.

  4. Antonio Hernandez. 11 months ago

    If I were Terry Ryan, i probably would have sprinted out there to yell at Kvasnicka

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