Many of us were excited and even expecting to see Baseball America and MLB.com’s number one prospect Byron Buxton called up to the Minnesota Twins in September.
That’s no longer an option according to the Twins who have opted to end Buxton’s season after he sustained a concussion in a terrible collision with teammate Mike Kvasnicka in the outfield last week during his Double-A debut.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan told reporters that he doesn’t expect Buxton to play again this season. Although the only injury Buxton seemed to sustained was the concussion and the only obvious residual effects seem to be concussion related, Buxton took the brunt of the collision and was unconscious for several minutes afterwards.
According to Ryan he is still having headaches but no major sensitivity to light and sound. He’s also suffering from some stiffness.
“He’s stiff is what it comes down to,” Ryan said. “He has some stiffness in the upper body around his neck area.”
He was flown to the Twins’ spring training facility in Fort Meyers, FL where he will be monitored by the Twins medical staff. The team just wants him to fully recover before beginning to play again. Playing may be an option for Buxton but it will not be in the big leagues in September, as some may have hoped.
If Buxton returns to the playing field anytime soon it will be in October when the Arizona Fall League begins. Still, Ryan was reluctant to commit to Buxton even playing this fall which makes sense. Rushing the recovery of the league’s top ranked prospect doesn’t seem to be the best idea.
“Only if he’s ready,” Ryan said. “I don’t want to get premature on how he’ll recover and feel two weeks from now. First things first, we need to go through the Major League protocol for concussion symptoms. But he’s in Fort Myers, which is convenient, so we can ramp him up there. The fall league starts Oct. 7, so it makes some sense that might be a good progression.”
Buxton hasn’t had the best luck this season with staying healthy. After an amazing 2013 season in low and high-a, he was thought by many to begin this season at Double-A New Britain. Unfortunately, however, he injured his wrist in a diving catch during spring training. That injury kept him out until May.
He re-injured the wrist shortly after returning and was out again until July and appeared in just 31 games this season. During that short span he hit .240/.313/.405 with four home runs in 134 plate appearances for Fort Myers.
So unless you make the trip to Arizona to see some fall ball don’t expect to see Buxton again until spring training in Florida in 2015.