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Buxton, Sano shut down in offseason leagues

Outfielder has left shoulder strain, while third baseman strains UCL in right elbow

MINNEAPOLIS -- Top prospects Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are both being shut down with injuries, Twins director of Minor League operations Brad Steil confirmed Thursday.

Buxton, 19, was diagnosed with a left shoulder strain and is likely to miss the rest of the Arizona Fall League, while Sano, 20, was diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will not play again this offseason in the Dominican Winter League.

Buxton, ranked as baseball's No. 1 overall prospect, hit .212/.288/.404 with three homers, a double and two stolen bases in 12 games in the Arizona Fall League. The outfielder's injury isn't considered serious, as the Twins are just being cautious with their top prospect, and he's expected to be ready for Spring Training.

"Most likely he'll be done, but it's not a certainty," Steil said about Buxton's chances to return to action in the AFL, which ends next week.

Sano's injury is considered more serious because it's to his throwing elbow, but he is also expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Sano, ranked as baseball's No. 3 overall prospect, played in just two games for Estrellas Orientales, as he injured his elbow on a throw on Oct. 19 and rested for two weeks before being officially shut down.

Sano was evaluated by Twins doctors last week before getting a second opinion this week from famed specialist Dr. James Andrews in Alabama. Twins doctors and Andrews both agreed that the third baseman suffered a strain but will not need surgery. Sano is expected to rehab his elbow this winter, and he still has a chance to be invited to Major League camp this spring.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.
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