MLB’s best prospect, Byron Buxton, won’t play before May

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Baseball’s best prospect, Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, injured his left wrist diving for a ball on March 16. At the time the Twins hoped he’d miss just a few days, but he hasn’t played since then and now they don’t expect him to see any game action until at least May.

Assistant general manager Rob Antony told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com that “there’s no set timetable” for Buxton’s return and the Twins are “not going to push him.”

Minnesota already lost fellow stud prospect Miguel Sano for the entire season to Tommy John elbow surgery and, just generally speaking, Twins fans could use some good news at some point soon. And it certainly isn’t going to come from the big-league team, which appears headed for a fourth consecutive 95-loss season.

Buxton had been ticketed for Double-A at age 20, but now he’ll need some time at extended spring training first.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.