MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton knew something was wrong almost immediately. His left shoulder had crashed into the outfield wall in Miami at an awkward angle, he said, and he knew it wasn’t right. His adrenaline was pumping, though, and he played through the rest of the Aug. 1 game.
“It was after that game and I sat for about 10 minutes at my locker and got ready to get up and I knew then it wasn’t right,” he said.
But the path to accepting that surgery was the best option took a little longer. Before he headed off for the surgery, Buxton said he talked to many people — his wife, parents and teammates included — and found them to be on the same page.
Buxton had season-ending surgery to repair his left shoulder labrum on Sept. 10 in California. He was around the Minnesota Twins’ clubhouse Friday, Sept. 20, sporting a big black cast. Though he can’t affect the Twins on the field and recovery is expected to take up to six months, the team is positive he’ll be able to have an impact off the field.
“Buck’s place in this clubhouse is lofty. He’s extremely well respected and I think guys were waiting for him to get back here. We talk about the energy that he brings,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He brings it whether he’s playing or not. He lights up the room, and I’m glad he’s able to be back here with us this quickly and spend some time with the group.”
When Buxton suffered the injury, he believed he would be able to avoid surgery. But that optimism eventually faded. He went on an August rehab assignment to Cedar Rapids that had to be halted because of discomfort and though the Twins brought him back in a defensive and running role for part of September, he still wasn’t swinging the bat.
“The toughest thing was me accepting that I had to have surgery. Being a kid, you always hear, ‘You don’t ever want nobody to cut on you,’ and things like that,” Buxton said. “It was one of those situations where I wanted to do anything I could. I knew I couldn’t swing the bat, so I wanted to do anything I could to give us some help. The time came to where it needed to be repaired.”
For now, he said the shoulder will be immobile for six weeks. While he waits, he’ll spend time around his teammates cheering from the bench, which helps take away some of the frustration of being in a cast, he said.
“Obviously, I want to be out there, but just being around them and seeing how much they’re enjoying the game and seeing the things that we’re doing, that keeps it fun, enjoyable, and allows me to stay in the game. It’s more of a blessing that they still want me around in the clubhouse, even in this situation. I’m just glad I can still be in here even though I can’t go out there and compete. Just to be around these guys, it means a lot.”
ALDS ticket strip sells out
The Twins announced that all ticket strips for potential first-round American League Division Series home games at Target Field are sold out.
The team will make a limited number of single-game tickets for ALDS games available later. If the Twins advance to the ALCS, the Twins would sell ticket strips for that series in the coming weeks. Full postseason ticket strips for games at Target Field have sold out.
“Just like with the full postseason strips, division series ticket strips sold out quickly — a testament to the fantastic energy and enthusiasm of Twins fans,” team President Dave St. Peter said in a release.
-C.J. Cron (thumb) was back in the starting lineup. Manager Rocco Baldelli said the team had been experimenting with different things in the training room to help minimize the pain. “Those guys have been doing a little work on him and I think it’s going to allow us to get him out there,” Baldelli said.
-Max Kepler (rhomboid strain) did not start again Friday. He has been out of the lineup since Sept. 14 against Cleveland.
Eddie Rosario and Nelson Cruz became the first set of Twins teammates to reach the 100 RBI milestone since Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau did it in 2009.