The Rising Tensions Concerning the Playing Time of MLBbro Byron Buxton

The Rising Tensions Concerning the Playing Time of MLBbro Byron Buxton

One of the most interesting stories in Major League Baseball history is the three-way relationship between the team, the player and their fanbase.

The uneasy partnership varies from love/hate to sometimes toxic. One of the more recent examples was in Oakland when the team set franchise records in futility for attendance with crowds between 2000-3000 fans at the beginning of the season.

Can Our MLBbro Tony Kemp Bring The Oakland A’s and Their Fanbase Back Together? 

 

While the most publicized storyline of the season resides in New York where MLBbro Aaron Judge decided to leave a $230 million extension on the table and is currently leading baseball in homers.

 

 

But the most intriguing storyline is in Minnesota surrounding the playing time of their superstar and our MLBbro, Byron Buxton. Not only is he the undisputed best player of the Twins, but he is also the best baseball player in the world if you ask his teammate Carlos Carrera via the New York Times.

“He’s the best player in the world, no doubt about it,”

The Twins have played close to a quarter of their 2022 schedule and their fan base, despite their team projected to hit close to triple digits in wins this season, are getting more and more frustrated by each passing series.

Fans want to see Buxton in the lineup everyday while the team plans to play him approximately 100-110 games this season to monitor and protect the right knee patella tendinitis that has limited him to an average of 54 games the last four seasons.   

It’s really easy to understand the frustrations from the fan perspective. When Byron Buxton plays, this team wins and wins a lot. Since 2019, Minnesota has the best winning percentage at .634 in team history with a 130-75 record. To put this in perspective, the 1965 pennant winning team is next in line at .630. The narrative is clear here. When our MLBbro, Byron Buxton plays, the Twins are exciting to watch and win games at a high clip. 

 

 

On the other hand, the pendulum swings the other way when Buxton is out of the lineup. Minnesota has a 96-110 record when he’s sidelined.     

Now the discussion goes to the franchise that signed our MLBbro to a seven-year, $100 million contract with a “no trade” clause. The Twins medical staff requires him to take days off for therapy and rest on his knee. Putting Buxton in the lineup at DH is not a viable option because swinging aggravates his knee. With aspirations of a World Series in sight, the team is making sure that Buxton’s knee is not problematic during the postseason.  

Plus, the Twins have a long list of injury issues with their superstar. Since 2015, Buxton has had injuries to his left thumb, both wrists, left big toe, groin, left shoulder and right hip. Throw in migraines and a concussion, it’s easy to see why the franchise have been ultra-careful with their biggest prize in Byron.

 

 

Whether he’s called the best or injury prone, our MLBbro just wants to get healthy and play to the best of his abilities which leads to wins.

“That doesn’t matter to me, either,” Buxton said. “For me to do that, I’ve got to go out there and prove that. I know I haven’t played enough games, but I know I can be that, which is fun to me. That’s what keeps me on my toes – something’s always gonna happen. There’s that anxiousness. For me that’s a challenge, and I like challenges.”

The challenge for the Minnesota Twins for the rest of the season is selling to their fans that resting Byron Buxton for periods throughout the season is a necessary evil to make a deep postseason run. 

Why? Because the fans have the mindset of Carlos Carrera when it comes to our MLBbro.  

“Nobody has more talent than him. Nobody throws harder. Nobody runs faster. So when you talk about talent and you talk about tools, this is the most gifted out of all of them out there.”

The question surrounding the organization now is…How much do Minnesota fans get to witness going forward this season? 

Dynamic Shortstop Royce Lewis Has To Change Positions To Play For Minnesota Twins

Dynamic Shortstop Royce Lewis Has To Change Positions To Play For Minnesota Twins

The number one pick in the 2017 draft finally got his time in the spotlight and he took full advantage of the chance.

Royce Lewis, one of the most celebrated prospects in all of the Majors, got called up to the big leagues and made his Minnesota Twins debut on May 6th against the Athletics recording his first career hit in the team’s 2-1 win.

Just six games later, Lewis knocked his first big league dinger over the left field wall for a grand slam to cap off a nine-run fifth inning that helped the Twins topple the Guardians, 12-8.

Lewis’ journey to the big leagues has been a rollercoaster. After being picked right out of JSerra High School in Southern California where he earned several highly acclaimed awards, he was placed on the Gulf Coast League Twins of the Rookie-level class of the minors. It took him just two months to get promoted to Single-A. 

During his 2018 campaign in the minors, Lewis ended up getting promoted to High-A and was named the 10th best prospect in baseball by MLB.com. In 2019, he was named the fifth-best prospect in baseball by MLB.com, and was invited to 2019 Future’s Game, as well as getting promoted to Double-A ball. 

After his pandemic-erased 2020 season, early 2021 seemed as though everything was getting back to normal and Lewis would make his jump to the bigs, but the talented prospect ended up tearing his ACL, effectively ending his season before it even began. 

By the time Lewis recovered, he hadn’t played baseball for two years, but as soon as he came back, he hit the ground running. Lewis started the season off in Triple-A, and it looked like he didn’t lose a step. In 24 games, he batted .310, with three home runs, and 11 RBI, with an on-base percentage of .430, and a slugging percentage of .563, earning him the call. 

In the 11 games that he suited up for the Twins, he was able to post a .308 batting average, with two home runs, five RBI, a .325 on-base percentage, and a .564 slugging percentage.

Even with the hot start, Lewis was sent back down to Triple-A last Wednesday — a move that has been widely criticized throughout Major LEague Baseball. The reason was due to the return of their star shortstop Carlos Correa from the injured list. The Twins signed Correa to a 3-year contract. The player Lewis said on draft night that he wants to model his shortstop game after is the one who is expected to be the Twins starting shortstop for the foreseeable future. 

Lewis played both shortstop and outfield in high school. But the Twins, who lead the AL Central, classified him as a shortstop. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Lewis hit .377 with four homers and 25 stolen bases for JSerra, establishing himself as a top prospect with excellent speed and a solid bat.

The question now is where does that leave Lewis? Will he be moved to second base or possibly the outfield? Or, could he be used as a trade asset if the Twins try to make a push? Either way, whatever ends up happening to Lewis, he has a bright future ahead of him.

Tim Anderson & Byron Buxton Dictate The AL Central Race

Tim Anderson & Byron Buxton Dictate The AL Central Race

For many fans and analysts around Major League Baseball, entering the season, the AL Central champ was a forgone conclusion.

The Chicago White Sox, lead by MLBbro and budding superstar Tim Anderson, were headed to their second straight division crown under wily legend Tony LaRussa in what many consider the weakest division in baseball.

Fortunately for Byron Buxton and the Minnesota Twins, pennants are won on the field and not on paper.

While it’s far too early to pick a favorite, Buxton has Minnesota in first place and many wondering if the Central has suddenly gone from a one team demolition to a legit two (or three) team race.

Anderson hasn’t been outdone by much, but even with his success the teams seem headed in opposite directions. Let’s take a look at how this division battle has shaped up so far.

ANDERSON ALONE OUT THERE

Lately the White Sox lineup has felt like Tim Anderson vs. the world. Instead of the explosive offense most predicted, Chicago has been terrible at the plate. As a team the Southsiders rank 24th in OPS, 26th in runs scored, 27th in RBI and dead last in walks.

Chicago’s offense may be awful right now, but Anderson has continued to produce like the superstar we project him to be.

So far this season, Anderson has collected 24 hits in 72 at bats out of the leadoff spot for Chicago. After Monday’s matchup with the Los Angeles Angels, Anderson was slashing .357/.379/.500 over his last seven games.

 

Anderson already missed two games via suspension this season, and is currently appealing another for flipping the bird at Guardians fans a la Kyrie Irving. But unlike the aforementioned Irving, Tim has been head and shoulders the best ballplayer on his team every time he takes the field.

MINNESOTA GETTING BETTER AS WE GO

The Minnesota Twins offensive numbers won’t blow you away, but over the last seven games Buxton has gotten some help from their prize free agent signing, World Series Champion Carlos Correa. Over the last week of games, Carlos is slashing .357/.419/.393, a sign that Carlos is putting the ball in play, just not out of the ballpark.

 

 

The improved play of Correa combined with lefty Max Keplers .888 OPS have given Byron enough help throughout the first few weeks of the season to propel the Twins to first in the division. If fellow offseason additions like Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela can snap out of their early season funk to contribute, Minnesota may have some staying power at the top the AL Central.

As for Buxton, the concerns about his health remain and the threat of injury hangs over any projections we make about him. Buxton has always produced when on the field, often putting up numbers in spurts that compare to Mike Trout.

If Big Bux stays in the lineup all season, the Twins will be a formidable opponent the remainder of the season.

Both TA and Buxton have been close to their A games all season, the only question remaining is which one’s supporting cast will catch up quickest.