December 11, 2023

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The Twins plan to use Byron Buxton primarily as a designated hitting hitter early in the season

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters, including Do Hyung Park from MLB.comwhich Byron Buxton He will work primarily as a designated hitter early in the season. According to Baldelli, while Buxton is doing “a great job” health-wise, the club wants to use him as a DH early in the year in order to keep him healthy throughout the entire 2023 season. Baldelli did not specify how long this would take after noting that the club planned to build it more slowly on the field work centre.

That decision is sure to devalue Buxton early in the year, though as he stands out at the plate (150 wRC+ across the 2021-22 campaigns), a good deal of his value comes from being among the best defensive midfielders in the world. sports. However, it is an understandable plan for the Twins to go into the season nonetheless. Buxton has played in 100 games only once in his career, in 2017.

He’s only played 307 games since then, and reached just 92 contests last year before suffering a right groin strain in August. Buxton had also played through right knee problems up to that point, eventually opting to shut things down once the Twins were out of contention for a match. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee in September.

The defensive dip that comes from using Buxton as a DH may not be as severe as one would expect given the Twins’ excellent defense on the field. Michael A. Taylor, acquired by the Twins from the Royals earlier this season, has recorded +22 Outs above average over the past two seasons. With Taylor in the center of the field while he flanks it Joey Gallo And Max Kepler In the corners of the field, the Twins would hold a Gold Glove caliber defense across the field even while Buxton was not playing the field.

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The Twins don’t go into 2023 with a set hitter each day. corner barriers Alex Kirillov And Jose Miranda Hackers can spin through those spots while benefiting Nick Gordon And Donovan Solano Actors can also be obtained there. with Jorge Polanco Likely to start the season on the injured list, the Twins may have to rely on this duo at second base early on. Polanco has slowly stepped up this spring after his 2022 campaign was cut short by a left knee problem.