Buxton's back. The Twins recalled Byron Buxton from Triple A Rochester late Wednesday. Since today is Sept. 1, they don't have to open a spot on the 25-man roster for him.
On Wednesday afternoon I watched (on MLB Network) the Red Sox beat the Rays. Jackie Bradley Jr. homered and doubled for Boston, and it occurred to me that JBJ had similar growing pains to Buxton.
To be specific:
2013: Bradley (age 23 season) appears in 37 major league games for the Red Sox, hits .189.
2014: The Sox hand Bradley the center field job. He slashes a dismal .198/.265/.266.
2015: Bradley splits the season between Triple A and the majors. He produces in Triple A (.305/.382/.472) but struggles in the American League again, although with power (.249/.335/.498).
2016: Bradley emerges, making the All-Star team. (He had a poor August, however, hitting under .200 for the month).
The comp isn't perfect. Bradley's a left-handed hitter, Buxton right. Buxton's struggles have come in his age 21 and 22 seasons -- ages at which Bradley was not getting big league time. And Bradley plays his home games in Fenway Park, a very favorable environment for a left-handed hitter.
Still, I presume you can see my point. Buxton has struggled to hit major league pitching so far. So did Bradley, for three years. But the Sox stuck with Bradley, and now they have a very good center fielder. Patience may be a difficult virtue, but it's a vital one.