After getting hit by a pitch on Monday during a game against the Cincinnati Reds, the Twins’ center fielder suffered what is known as a boxer’s fracture in his left pinky, and the recovery time will likely keep him out of the 2021 All-Star Game.
The injury comes just three days after Buxton returned from the injury list with a bang after recovering from a hip strain.
Earlier today @OfficialBuck103 hit his first home run since returning from the Injured List Saturday. He is on track to start in Center field for the American League All Star team next month. #MLBbros #MNTwins https://t.co/icd5rNo3ja
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) June 21, 2021
No one can deny that it’s tough to see a player miss significant time due to injury, but this news about Buxton is a harder pill to swallow for one very clear reason: he’s constantly on the injured list. It feels like he can’t catch a break. Matter of fact, to be exact, he’s been on the injured list 15 times since getting drafted. That’s a big number for anyone, but it hits a little differently when the player is as good as Buxton is.
As the second overall pick in the 2012 draft, Buxton has lived up to the hype when he’s healthy. Despite only playing in 27 games this season, his numbers reflect his talent.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 5, 2021
He’s batting .369 with 19 RBI, 10 home runs and a fielding percentage of .986. Since making his debut with the Twins in 2015, he only has one season of at least 100 games played. He was named a Gold Glove winner during that same 2017 season.
So what’s next for Buxton? Unfortunately, there is no way to answer that as of now. According to Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, Buxton is “beyond upset about it.” The Twins have yet to know if Buxton’s injury will require surgery, and they also don’t know how long it will be until he’s cleared to play again.
Unfortunately, questions about how long Buxton will recover from this injury also mean that Buxton’s availability for the upcoming All-Star Game is one giant question mark.
For Buxton, the timing couldn’t be any worse, especially considering that his injury occurred exactly one week after the standings for the first phase of voting results were made public.
The way the voting works is quite simple. The three position players with the most votes advance to the second phase, and the top nine outfielders in each league will advance as well.
Last Monday’s standings had Buxton listed as third amongst the top nine outfielders in the American League. The two players above him were Mike Trout, who had 15 percent of the votes, and Aaron Judge, who had eleven percent. Buxton earned eight percent of the votes. However, the first phase of voting doesn’t officially end until Sunday, June 27.
Byron Buxton remains in third among AL outfielders in All-Star voting, which would put him in line to advance to the next round of voting. pic.twitter.com/2494MVVZzA
— Betsy Helfand (@betsyhelfand) June 21, 2021
With this injury now being the deciding factor on whether or not Buxton will be available, there is a strong possibility that he drops from his current spot on the list. Unlike Trout and Judge, this could have been his first year as an MLB All-Star.