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.
.235 is hitting well? Did we lower the bar for the purposes of this article, or is league average BA now the worst in the history of the game?
An .828 OPS is above average, and he has the best K/BB ratio of his career.
Yes, by your standards we have lowered the bar…for batting average. We now do a much better job at judging hitting by full profile, not just that one so-so stat.
It’s a telling stat so don’t act like it doesn’t carry any weight smart one
It doesn’t carry any weight. Gallo is hitting .215 and is one of the most productive hitters in baseball this year. Being snarky when you’re wrong is ridiculous.
It carries weight. Not enough to say that a player can’t be good or productive offensively with a lower ba: but the most optimal outcome in an at bat is get on base via a hit. Hence, the higher the ba, the higher the likelihood of a productive hitter, incrementally.
Again. BA isn’t everything, but it’s disappointing to see people label it as irrelevant or in this scenario; doesn’t carry weight? Sheesh.
The point of the game is still to get a hit. A walk will do, but a hit is preferred, ALWAYS. 99.9% of the time.
As far as Bux goes, his ops+ is pretty darn good for a guy who is still recovering from a major operation; playing, trying to win games as he’s actively in recovery.
When the discussion is about production, no, it doesn’t carry any weight. OPS is far more important. Of course all else being equal power wise you’d want a higher batting average but a guy hitting .285 with a .750 ops is far worse than a guy hitting .215 with a .900 OPS. So yes, batting average is a terrible stat to use when discussing production.
Right but base hits and “average” are essentially random once the ball is put in play. 4 hop ground balls for singles that raise your BA are not a “good” result. They are luck.
Which parts of the game are predetermined as opposed to random?
The point of the game is to get a hit.
The higher rate at which you attain hits; the better.
Yes. When speaking from a PRODUCTION standpoint; batting average still matters. Your stat comparison may be true; but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the higher rate at which you get a hit; the better.
Therefore; the higher the batting average, the more productive the player.
If you assume that power, extra base hits HAVE to come at the cost of a lower batting average, then what you are saying would be more valid.
But the truth is, you want a guy to hit for power AND average. One doesn’t have to come without the other. You can accept a players production without a high batting average, but damnit, you wish he’d hit for a higher average, don’t you?
This is where I struggle with analytics. Just because power hitters are more likely to be productive with, or despite a lower batting average; doesn’t mean that batting average shouldn’t be used as a measuring stick. I will never, ever agree with, or understand this thinking.
Analytics can encourage fans/statisticians to have errantly binary, false equivalent beliefs. Just because there’s 10 guys that hit .210 but are still productive; doesn’t mean that we should be encouraging .210 averages.
The point of the game is to get a run. If you get a hit, get hit, take a walk…all are the same. If no one is bringing you in, then who cares? A HR (and thus, the highest impact to OPS) doesn’t need someone need to bring them in. I hate swing-and-miss game, but there’s a reason people do it, especially if you have a lineup beset with injuries and are playing subpar offensive players.
It’s a good discussion to have. It’s up to every player to find his own lane; obviously, the more apt you are at one particular skill, whether that he getting on base, slap hitting, pull hitting for power, etc. the less likely you are to be apt at another skill. That’s why 5 tool players are rare; it could be argued most major leaguers have 1-3 tools plus. Theres tons of ways to score a run. To me, the most admirable and desirable trait will be the propensity to get a hit.
Now, does that mean that an Arraez or an Ichiro is unequivocally better or more valuable than say, career .256 Harmon Killebrew? Not at all. Every player is unique.
Like I said, I just think talk of the demise of the importance of batting average has been greatly, dangerously exaggerated. Power isn’t everything. Hitting 20 home runs isn’t everything.
I personally agree with Sodomojo. AVG is important in the sense of a team who generates runs via speed, or is an important component of generating runs. While there’s no argument that OPS is applicable for most of the modern teams of today, with the new rules in place speed is once again going to be a factor, thus OBA (and a good BA only helps since it can drive in runs) becomes more impactful for the potential of generating more runs, differently. The 80’s Cardinals we’re all speed with the exception of Jack Clark, but was a team with solid BAs and OBP. SB was integral, just like the long ball is today. I think the new rules will help bring speed back and reprioritize some of the importance around certain stats based on the teams build.
May as well go up to bat and flip a coin then? Heads you’re out, tails you take a base if it’s so random. Players spend their whole lives learning their craft, surely not every hit is random. Yes some bloop singles and ones that scrape by the infielder are, but extra base hits down the line and hard line drives are a sign of a batter’s skill.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Sounds like someone needs a nappy nap after shuffleboard
Bring me some jeritol before I start talking about umpires vs robo umps
Dumpster Divin Theo
A hit sends positive seismic ripples through the entire team’s collective psychology. Walks are also good, but they don’t feel as good.
Always remember baseball is 90 mental and the other half is physical.
I’d rather have a BA of .330 and OBP of .385 than a BA of.215 and OBP of .385.
This is where baseball has stepped on itself and misleading. League average The runner has about a 19% chance of scoring from 1st base with no outs. League wide a hitter has a 15% chance of hitting a home run at anytime so. But since there is a belief (albeit wrong) by a large group that BA is a worthless stat and OPS trumps all, then you get a large group of players who would rather take a walk then swing the bat. Literally look to walk. Why? Because a single will lower your slugging percentage and walk won’t affect it. if the chances are the same as scoring from first, so why ruin a stat that can be much more volitile then batting overage. But it’s not good for the game. If walks decreased your slugging percentage you would see more balls out in play and batting averages rise again. Then players like Lars Nootbaar wouldn’t be thought so highly of.
Oh your points are so sharp! I wish we had a super like option here. You win the baseball forum today! I will steal/borrow your exact words at my next friendly baseball chat with friends. Good day to you, my fine lovely man!
The best way to quickly judge a hitter is by using the simple stat Total Bases (TB). All the advances metrics ever invented still need the basics: Hits, 2B, 3B, HR, etc…. It’s that way in stock market analysis as well.
normally i think im getting old and falling apart, but buxton makes me feel good about my body
U also don’t require explosive energy every single day or crashing into walls what’s your point ?
He stated his point, “buxton makes me feel good about my body”. Reading isn’t that hard.
“Crashing into walls”
Buxton hasn’t played a single inning in the field this year
Who u guys think would win in a foot race;
Cripple DH Buxton?
Buxton unless he gets injured while running. So it’s 50/50
I’m very sympathetic towards the injury prone, but “all that running” did make me laugh.
My Royals are so pathetic they don’t even get mentioned in AL Central updates.
Why am I not surprised that a White Sox player gets hurt by making a ‘safe’ sign?
Buxton is hurt, that’s why he isn’t playing center. It’s obvious every game he can’t run the same and he limps a lot. I know the Twins keep saying it’s not an injury but anyone who watches them play can clearly see he’s playing through the same knee injury as last season. It’s just not as extreme yet.
I wouldn’t characterize Buxton’s BA of .235 as being:
“his bat has been a bright spot in an inconsistent lineup”
“it’s hard to argue with results, as Buxton has been hitting well”
“as part of the Twins’ desire to keep their star healthy, Buxton has played exclusively as a designated hitter this season”
If anything the team’s coddling of their big buck player has handcuffed both the team’s on field performance and the moves available to the manager. While DHing Buxton, the Twins’ outfield has been manned by Michael Taylor, Willi Castro, Nick Gordon, Trevor Larnach, Joey Gallo, Max Kepler., Kyle Garlick, etc.
It is only by a recent offensive “burst” that Buxton isn’t at the Mendoza line.
Dumpster Divin Theo
That’s why they’re the WAMT
Kind of crazy that as a DH the injury bug hits still. I am glad they are getting him more at bats though and he is a difference maker on this team even when not using his elite CF skills.
Hoping we can keep Royce Lewis in the field when he returns. I am excited to see what he can do and hopefully he doesn’t also need DH duties.
Sorry you were forced to run,Byron.
We all know how physically demanding DH is, especially with a .304 OBP.
It’s sad to see arguably MLB’s finest defender relegated to DH.
it’s absurd that our players are still getting injured running the bases in 2023. it’s about time major league baseball institutes a designated runner rule.
Lewis will get his chance, when he is physically ready, when the team bites the bullet and benches the team’s other big buck star, Correa and his pathetic .206 BA..
Buxton had Arthroscopic Knee Surgery:
How long does it take to recover??
You will probably need about 6 weeks to recover. If your doctor repaired damaged tissue, recovery will take longer. You may have to limit your activity until your knee strength and movement are back to normal. You may also be in a physical rehabilitation (rehab) program.
Is it a MAJOR surgery?
It’s a minor surgery and is done on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day. Your doctor may recommend it if you have inflammation in a joint, have injured a joint, or have damaged a joint over time. You can have arthroscopy on any joint.
The risks and complications associated with arthroscopic knee surgery include infection, nerve damage, blood clots, persistent swelling and stiffness, heart attack, and stroke.
Possibly we have seen the last of Buxton in Center Field ???
Just to stir the pot: Another great outfielder, Harold Baines, was done defensively at the age of 29. Harold, however questionably, is in the Hall Of Fame. Buxton is now nothing more than a watered down Harold Baines, at best. It is an unfortunate story. Baseball is a very hard game, especially at the professional level. Buxton could have been one of the greats. But now he is only a 2/3 Harold Baines, which still ain’t bad, but what coulda been….
AND Tony Oliva….
Who knows what he could have accomplished but for knee injuries.
Dang. Byron Buxton WAS an astounding athlete, a lot like Bo Jackson. Insane speed. Big-time power. Buxton was a better outfielder by far, but they both had incredible arm strength.
Just sad, really