Twins manager not worried about Byron Buxton’s cold stretch – SKOR North

May 16, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton (25) before the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita – USA TODAY Sports

Byron Buxton scalded a few balls Thursday night against Kansas City at Target Field, but it took an inside dribbler near the first of the ninth inning for the center fielder to break a 0-for-30 collapse. Buxton dove headfirst into the sack and was slow to get up after pitcher Scott Barlow failed to handle first baseman Carlos Santana’s rushing throw.

“I think he’s fine,” manager Rocco Baldelli said after the Twins’ 3-2 loss to the Royals. “He was a little shaken up. Those head-first slides to first base, they’re never the best thing and you don’t like to see them, if you don’t have to. I think he’s fine, but we’ll check he’s fine.

The hit was Buxton’s first since May 16 and snapped a six-game clean streak. It was the longest no-hitter streak by a Twins player since Oswaldo Arcia went 0 for 31 from June 11-22, 2014. Although Buxton hit the ball hard at times during his slump, you have to ask you if he is bothered by one or the other. the chronic right knee problem that caused the Twins to give him frequent days off, or even a hip problem that caused him to miss games earlier this season?

Buxton was down .278/.342/.722 with nine home runs and 17 RBIs in his first 19 games when he quit a May 7 game against Oakland with a strain in his hip. Buxton missed the next two games — there was a rest day in between — before returning on May 11 against Houston.

He entered a 3-for-42 funk Thursday and was hitting .071/.184/.214 with two home runs and four RBIs in his last 11 games. He then went 1 for 5 against the Royals. Buxton’s slant line was down to .202/.278/.521 with 11 home runs and 21 RBIs. Not exactly the thing from a guy many thought was a potential MVP contender earlier this season.

“I want to play. I want to contribute to the team,” Buxton said after a 10-inning loss to the Tigers on Wednesday. for my teammates. I really don’t think too much about (the knee).

Perhaps the best sign Thursday was Buxton hitting a ball hard on the third in the fourth inning, then fielding a left shot in the seventh on which the Royals’ Andrew Benintendi made a nice running catch to the line. These are the types of hits that drop when things are going well.

“When you hit the ball hard, like he hits it, you’re going to end up with a lot of doubles and home runs,” Baldelli said. “You’re going to help your team win a lot of games, if you swing the bat like he’s swinging it right now. The blows will come.

  • The Twins are in the middle of a 21-game streak against sub-0.500 opponents. It started with a three-game series that opened May 13 against Cleveland (18-23) and included series at Oakland (19-28) and Kansas City (15-28), followed by the Tigers (16 -28) and Royals to the target field. Minnesota will then play five games in Detroit next week before opening a three-game series in Toronto (24-20). The AL Central-leading Twins are 9-4 in the first 13 of the streak, including back-to-back losses to the Tigers and Royals after a six-game winning streak. The Twins’ last victory against a team currently above .500 came on May 1 when they beat Tampa Bay to take two of the Rays’ three.
  • It remains unclear which Twins players are not vaccinated against COVID-19 and therefore will not be able to travel with the team for a three-game series from June 3-5 in Canada. Players who have not received the vaccine can be placed on the shortlist – often used for those with personal or legal issues – and will not be paid or given service time for missed matches. The Twins will be able to replace anyone on the shortlist with a vaccinated player.
  • First baseman Alex Kirilloff went 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and three runs Thursday in the Triple-A Saints’ 8-1 win over Indianapolis at CHS Field in St. Paul. Kirilloff is hitting .333 with two home runs and 10 RBIs with the Saints. It will be interesting to see if the Twins recall Kirilloff and/or Royce Lewis soon. The Twins returned Lewis to Triple-A when shortstop Carlos Correa returned from injury. Lewis played a few shortstops in St. Paul, but also moved to other locations to gain experience. He played third base Thursday and went 2 for 5 with an RBI and two runs.
  • The Marlins selected former Twins fan favorite Willians Astudillo from Triple-A Jacksonville this week. Astudillo signed a minor league contract with Miami after the offseason lockout and was hitting .286/.326/.464 with four home runs for Jacksonville. Astudillo went 0-for-2 after pinching then playing second base in the Marlins’ 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
  • Looks like the Timberwolves will introduce new president of basketball operations Tim Connelly next week. Scoopmaster Darren “Doogie” Wolfson reported that Connelly had already attended a training session at the Wolves facility this week after being signed on Monday. Connelly left the Denver Nuggets on a five-year, $40 million deal that includes a small ownership stake.
  • Listening to Chris Archer make an appearance on the Twins-Tigers TV broadcast Wednesday on YouTube, it looks like the pitcher will find himself in a broadcast booth or studio role once his playing days are over.
  • Former high-profile starting pitcher Zack Greinke, whose name has popped up as a potential candidate for the Twins this offseason, is scheduled to start Sunday at Target Field. The 38-year-old right-hander is 0-3 with a 4.53 ERA.