Byron Buxton was removed from yesterday’s game due to right knee tightness, and he wasn’t in the Twins’ lineup today. While Buxton’s health history makes any injury seem like a red flag, manager Rocco Baldelli didn’t think the issue was particularly serious, and thought Buxton’s knee might have just been sore from a number of recent plays on the basepaths. “It’s just by chance that there’s been this many plays that he’s had to go hard on in a very short period of time. It kind of popped up, I think, because of all the running,” Baldelli told MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park and other reporters.
Buxton underwent arthroscopic surgery on that same right knee back in September, and as part of the Twins’ desire to keep their star healthy, Buxton has played exclusively as a designated hitter this season. While keeping a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder in a DH role may seem like a waste of resources, it’s hard to argue with results, as Buxton has been hitting well (.235/.344/.484 with nine home runs in 180 plate appearances) and has avoided the injured list to date. Ironically, Buxton has been a source of stability on a Twins team that has been beset with several other injuries, and his bat has been a bright spot in an inconsistent lineup.
More from the AL Central…
- Sticking with the Twins, Jorge Alcala was placed on the 15-day injured list earlier this week, and head trainer Nick Paparesta gave Park and company some more information on the right-hander’s status. Alcala has a stress fracture to the radius bone in his right forearm, which Paparesta described as “more of a chronic, ongoing condition and again, nothing to do with his previous elbow surgery.” Due to the rather unique nature of the injury, it isn’t known exactly how long Alcala might be out, and the Twins will re-evalate him after a shutdown of 10-14 days. Elbow problems and an arthroscopic debridement surgery limited Alcala to just 2 1/3 innings in 2022, and he had posted only a 6.46 ERA over 15 1/3 innings out of Minnesota’s bullpen this season.
- Hanser Alberto left today’s game with what the White Sox described as left shoulder soreness. After dropping a sacrifice bunt, Alberto appeared to hurt his shoulder while making a “safe” sign after a very close play at first base. Alberto is day to day with the injury, and manager Pedro Grifol told The Athletic’s James Fegan and other reporters that the infielder could be able to avoid the 10-day injured list. There isn’t much time for Alberto to rest or for the Sox to play with an undermanned roster, since the White Sox are six games into a stretch of 19 games in 19 days.
- The Guardians will call up Hunter Gaddis for a start on Monday, according to The Athletic’s Zack Meisel (via Twitter). A fresh starter was needed when Peyton Battenfield was placed on the 15-day IL on Friday, so the Guards will turn to Gaddis for at least one outing, though an off-day on Thursday could allow them to reset the rotation. Gaddis made his MLB debut last season and made four starts this season while Triston McKenzie has been sidelined with injury, but the results haven’t yet been there at the big league level. The 25-year-old righty has a 6.86 ERA over 19 2/3 innings this season, with a minuscule 14.6% strikeout rate.