The Minnesota Twins are on their way to breaking the curse of Bob Nightengale and winning the AL Central. With a 7.5-game lead, they should be able to hang on and take the division title. If Byron Buxton can work his way back from his current knee injury, they will have even more firepower.
Buxton's history of being an oft-injured superstar continued again this season. The 2022 All-Star hasn’t suited up for the Twins since the beginning of August after injuring his hamstring. Soreness in his knee that he felt in a rehab start for the Triple-A St. Paul Saints gave him another obstacle to overcome. Fortunately, he is on his way to clearing it.
Nick Paparesta, the Twins' head athletic trainer, said that the Twins expect Buxon to play again this season, according to Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com. He got a cortisone injection and Minnesota will begin rotational work with him on his knee tomorrow to get him ramped up in time for the postseason.
Michael A. Taylor, along with some help from the likes of Joey Gallo, Nick Gordon and Willi Castro, has filled in admirably at center field for Buxton, who has mostly played as a designated hitter this season after spending his entire career playing center field after getting surgery on his right knee in 2022. Buxton hasn’t been super effective this season, though, posting just a .731 OPS.
If the season ended today, the Twins would host a Wild Card series against the Seattle Mariners. Byron Buxton has been one of their very best players for years yet his ability to help in a playoff environment is unknown. The team, however, is eager to find out.