Friday, September 15, 2017

Contemplating Byron Buxton

Bryon Buxton brings his home run
home through a shower of bubble gum
Thursday night.
Another blown lead, another extra-inning game, another walk-off homer by a blossoming Twins outfielder.

Eddie Rosario on Wednesday, Byron Buxton on Thursday.

(We should, therefore, expect big things from Max Kepler tonight.)

Jeff Passan of Yahoo posted this piece on Buxton's emergence earlier on Thursday. Two noteworthy items in it, one trivial and one substantial. The trivial: Buxton can't beat his 30-year-old brother in a footrace. The substantial: how hitting coach James Rowson worked with Buxton to overcome his hitting difficulties.

I said here when Tom Brunansky (and Butch Davis) were fired from the coaching staff last November that Buxton and Miguel Sano's difficult 2016 season did in Bruno as hitting coach.

There were players Brunansky helped, with Brian Dozier being a prime example. But as I said 10 months ago, the Twins have to have Buxton as a cornerstone. And now he appears to be just that.

Buxton's greatest contribution, of course, is his defense. And this week the geniuses (no sarcasm intended) at Statcast rolled out a new defensive metric: Outs Above Average. Buxton tops that standard, with Kepler 13th in the majors and Rosario well down the list, behind even Robbie Grossman.

OAA is a metric I intend to keep an eye on.

So .. Twins win, Angels lose. Twins have a three-game lead for the final wild card spot with 16 games to go.


  1. Ed, any thoughts about the firing of Doug M.? And on a more important note, what are the odds that Molitor returns? I have a hard time believing that he will be back unless he wins an actual playoff series. Of course, he gets some credit for the wins this year but of course he also gets tarred with the losses last year. I want Falvine to hire their ideal candidate.

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