Where is Byron Buxton?

Photo: Jerry Holt - Star Tribune

The Minnesota Twins look like a true playoff contender this season. They have talent and depth in all four areas of the game. But how far they go in 2023 will largely depend on the health of Byron Buxton. His health will dictate the ceiling for this team.

Where is Byron Buxton?

But the Twins are now a week into their Grapefruit League schedule down in Florida and Byron Buxton has yet to take the field or register a plate appearance. On Sunday, they play a split-squad double-header and Buxton isn’t written into the lineup in either matchup.

Other veterans, like Max Kepler and Christian Vazquez, are playing in their 5th official exhibition games this afternoon. But according to multiple reports, this is all part of the plan on maximizing Buxton’s time on the field when games matter.

All part of the Spring Training plan

Darren Wolfson (SKOR North, KSTP) called it a “ramp up period” when he broached this topic on SKOR North Friday. Buxton and the Twins are splitting Spring Training into three pre-scheduled phases. This first phase obviously means no live playing time at all but Doogie believes phase two is “getting close”.

“The idea is a slow build up to get to, what is Opening Day, March 30, so we’re what… 27 days away. So, they had this thing mapped out weeks ago that dividing it into thirds. I’m not even sure we’re to that second third yet, probably close. But yeah, what we’re seeing is exactly what the Twins mapped out, going back to December.”

Darren Wolfson – Mackey & Judd (SKOR North)

Phil Miller (Star Tribune) reported that both Buxton and Jorge Polanco, who hasn’t seen the field yet this spring either, are taking live batting practice vs Twins’ minor league pitchers.

Jorge Polanco and Byron Buxton both took live batting practice Saturday, trying to stay relatively sharp at the plate while avoiding putting the stress on their knees by playing defense. Buxton hit a first-pitch home run onto the left-field concourse against Twins minor leaguer Matt Mullenbach.

Phil Miller – Star Tribune

Honestly, I’d be fine with the Twins sitting Byron Buxton for the entirety of Spring Training. As long as Buck is healthy, he will hit piss rockets and play spectacular defense. As long as he’s on the field, the Twins will win games. So why risk his health playing in games that don’t matter?

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan