|Byron Buxton signs autographs before his home debut|
Wednesday against St. Louis.
You don't have to dig too hard into Paul Molitor's quotes to find hints that the manager wouldn't mind returning the phenom to the minors. From the Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino on Sunday:
"At least until we figure out where this thing is going to go, he's going to be out there," Molitor said. "We need him defensively. His presence at the bottom of the lineup, while it hasn't been productive yet, it's still exciting when he comes up. You can still sense that something good could happen every time he goes up there."
For what it's worth, Terry Ryan in a radio interview Sunday morning, immediately dismissed a question about whether Buxton would be more likely returned to Double A Chattanooga or demoted to Triple A Rochester.
All this came before Buxton got his first Target Field hit late in Sunday's debacle after four oh-fers.
That Buxton has struggled at the plate in his first week-plus is no real surprise. It fits the pattern so far in his young professional career: Promoted to a new level, he splutters for a week or so, then starts to break out. It's far too early to cast judgment on him.