Buxton progressing, but return date uncertain

Twins hoping outfielder can make more 'offensive adjustments'

June 30th, 2018

CHICAGO -- Center fielder continues to make progress during his rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester, but there's still no timetable for his return. There remains a chance that he could be optioned instead of reinstated from the disabled list once his rehab assignment ends.

Buxton, on the DL with a fractured left big toe, began his rehab assignment on June 19, which allows him to remain on it until July 8. He has hit .206/.250/.324 with one homer and four RBIs in nine games with Rochester.

"It's one of those things where we try to take time out of the equation," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "At some point, we have to decide if we want to bring him back or if we think we should extend his stay a little longer. Those are the things that are being discussed each and every day. I just kind of follow how he's doing. I know he had a hit last night and threw out a guy at home, made a nice catch you can see on Twitter and all those kinds of things. He seems to be OK, and his attitude has been real positive about trying to get to a better place."

Another positive is that Buxton's fractured toe has been healing, so now it's more about working on his swing and mechanics with Minor League hitting coordinator Rick Eckstein, Triple-A hitting coach Chad Allen and manager Joel Skinner.

"He's healthy," Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said. "His foot feels good, and that's kind of our first question every day. Make sure there is no issue there. He's continuing to progress well. Offensive adjustments are still coming."

But Falvey echoed Molitor's comments that they don't have a firm date in mind for Buxton's return, but it's clear they want him to get going offensively before he's brought back up.

"We haven't put any specific timetable on it," Falvey said. "First and foremost, we wanted to make sure he's healthy, and he is. It'll be a conversation for Paul and [hitting coach] James [Rowson] from a hitting standpoint to see when he'll be able to impact us when he comes up. That's what is going to be important. We've talked all along about how he's battling to compete up here, especially with the injury. We want to make sure he has a chance to impact a game."