Struggling at plate, Twins’ Byron Buxton gets the day off

19 July 2023

SEATTLE — Mired in an 0-for-29 batting slump, Byron Buxton was given the day off when the Twins played the Seattle Mariners late Tuesday at T-Mobile Park.

“It’s not just for one particular reason,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He was going to get a day in Seattle his first week back (from the break) at some point, anyway. He’s grinding at the plate right now, but it’s just a combination of a couple of things.”

After going 0 for 5 with three strikeouts in Monday’s 7-6 loss to the Mariners, Buxton has six total hits in July with an on-base percentage of .192. Although he ranks second among teammates with 15 home runs and 36 runs batted in, he’s now hitting .196 in 77 games.

“He’s healthy,” Baldelli said.

That, however, is relative. Buxton, 29, has been limited to designated hitter duties this season. One of the best center fielders in baseball, he hasn’t played a single game on defense.

Buxton has, however, broached the subject with the staff, Baldelli said, but it’s essentially a non-starter.

“This isn’t a question of what he wants to do. It’s a question of what is he physically capable of doing?” the manager said. “Does he think he is physically capable of doing it? I don’t think so.”

Draft signings

The Twins announced Tuesday they have signed all but four of their 2023 draft picks, including second-rounder Luke Keaschall, a 6-foot-1 infielder from Arizona State.

First-round pick Walker Jenkins, a high school outfielder taken fifth overall, remains unsigned, as does right-handed high school pitcher Charlee Soto, a competitive balance A pick.

Other picks who have signed, in order of selection: Brandon Winokur, OF, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Tanner Hall, RHP, Southern Mississippi; Dylan Questad, RHP, Waterford, Wis.; Jay Harry, INF, Penn State; Nolan Santos, RHP, Miami Beach, Fla.; Jace Stoffal, RHP, Roseburg, Ore.; Jack Dougherty, RHP, Mississippi; Ross Dunn, LHP, Arizona State; Ty Langenberg, RHP, Urbandale, Iowa;
Paulshawn Pasqualotto, RHP, Las Vegas; Jeremy Lee, RHP, South Alabama; Xander Hamilton, RHP, Appalachian State; Spencer Bengard, RHP, Moreno Valley, Calif.; Anthony Silvas, RHP, Riverside CC; Kade Bragg, LHP, Angelo State; Hector Garcia Jr., RHP, Fullerton, Calif.

The Twins also signed four undrafted free agents: Jacob King, RHP, California-Irvine; Liam Rocha, RHP, California Baptist; Cole Elvis, C, Kansas; Poncho Ruiz, C, San Diego State.

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