Twins’ Byron Buxton: ‘I ain’t gonna change the way I play’

Byron Buxton missed the Twins’ final 42 games while on the IL but called 2022 ‘something to build on’

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Seattle Mariners
Minnesota Twins designated hitter Byron Buxton celebrates as he runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning Monday, June 13, 2022, at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
Joe Nicholson / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINNEAPOLIS — In the first season of a seven-year, $100 million contract extension, Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton both rewarded the team’s faith in him and gave his critics reason to wonder.

A first-time all-star, Buxton was one of the game’s best players through the All-Star Game, fulfilling for the longest period of his career the promise that made him the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. It wasn’t long after, however, that injuries slowed him down and, ultimately, ended his season early — something that has plagued Buxton since he graduated to the majors in 2015.

“I battled all year,” Buxton said Friday after he and four teammates modeled new Twins uniforms at Mall of America.

Bothered by a knee injury since mid-April, Buxton finally landed on the injured list in late August because of a hip strain and missed the final 42 games of the season. While he was out, the Twins fell from first in the American League Central to 14 games out at season’s end.

“I did what I could to try to get me through the season, and it didn’t work out,” Bixton said. “So, for me it was all about pulling for my teammates. Once it happens, it happens. I can’t control the outcome, so I battle. That’s my policy.”


Don’t expect anything different from Buxton, 28, in 2023.

“I can’t control my injuries,” he said, “but I ain’t gonna change the way I play, either. I’m going to go out there and keep playing hard, and if it’s stuff that I can get through, and we’re in that spot to make it to the playoffs, I’ll fight through it. It just didn’t work out this year, so we’ll try it again.”

Buxton has been rehabbing at his home in Georgia, mostly isolation drills and a little weight lifting, and plans to be ready to play when spring training opens at a date to be determined in February. On Friday, Buxton said, he was cleared to begin running.

Bloomberg reported this week the sports network is nearing bankruptcy
Former catcher and 2009 AL MVP is the 38th member of the team’s hall
Taylor is the second outfielder the Twins have added this offseason; free agent Joey Gallo, another Gold Glover, was acquired in December.
The right-hander acquired Friday in the Luis Arraez trade is expected to pitch at or near the top of the rotation.
The father of former Twins great Joe Mauer died from heart complications at age 66
Marlins send starting pitcher Pablo Lopez, two prospects to Minnesota for the reigning AL batting champion
Minnesota and Chris Paddack agree to 3-year extension
Shortstop and catcher can be taken off the to-do list, but pitching and outfield help still needed
Correa had two mammoth deals fall apart because of an MRI on his right ankle.
Correa agreed to a 6-year, $200 million deal — which can grow to $270 million over 10 years — with the Twins.

“Running’s my favorite thing to do, so for me to get cleared to run, I’m on Cloud 9,” he said. “I’m anxious to get back and see how it feels when I get to running on it; that will tell me how far I need to go and where I’m at.”

Buxton played 92 games, more than he had played since a career-high 140 in 2017. He made his first All-Star game — even lifting the American League to a 3-2 victory with a two-run home run at Dodger Stadium — and hit .224 with 51 RBIs, 61 runs scored and a team-high 28 home runs.

After the All-Star Game, Buxton had his knee injected with plasma rich platelets and was playing regularly before hurting his hip while trying to catch a fading line drive from Texas’ Ezequiel Duran on Aug. 22. Two days later, he was on the injured list.

Buxton and his trainers worked hard to get him back into the lineup, but with the Twins 10 games out of first place, the team announced he would have season-ending knee surgery.

“It’s something for me to build off of,” Buxton said. “Ninety-two games, that’s the most I’ve played in I couldn’t tell you how long. So, little by little, I know I’m going to get there.”


Second baseman Jorge Polanco was another Twins star who ended the season on the injured list, missing the final 38 games of the season because of a nagging knee injury and watching as his team fell out of the AL Central race.

“It’s not a good feeling, you know?” he said Friday.

One of the five Twins players who modeled the Twins’ new uniforms, Polanco said he did not need surgery to his knee and that rehab was going well. He came to Minnesota from his home in the Dominican Republic for Friday’s event.

“I know I couldn’t play at the end, but we cannot be selfish,” he said. “I was hurt. I had trust in my teammates. In the end, we didn’t do it. It is a bad feeling, but I’m doing better. I’m working on it.”


This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What To Read Next
Kick in final seconds sets up Kansas City vs. Philadelphia on Feb. 12
As of Sunday afternoon, the Wild (27-17-4, 58 points) are just clear of the Colorado Avalanche for the final playoff spot in the Central Division.
Mats Zuccarello, Kirill Kaprizov, and Freddy Gaudreau all converted in the shootout, while Marc-Andre Fleury made a big save that proved to be the difference
Minnesota improved its record to 11-4 in January, including winning its last 3 games