Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, a former No. 1 overall prospect, hasn’t had the greatest 2017 season. Coming into Sunday afternoon’s game against the Blue Jays, the 23-year-old was carrying a meager .677 OPS. He raised that in quite a hurry with three home runs, helping the Twins enjoy a 7-2 victory.
Buxton started the day off with an RBI single in the top of the first inning. He drilled a two-run home run in the fourth off of Joe Biagini, raising the Twins’ lead to 5-1. He tacked on a solo shot in the seventh off of Matt Dermody, making it a 6-2 game. In the ninth, Buxton hit number three off of Tim Mayza, pushing the lead to 7-2.
Buxton’s performance is the 11th three-homer game of the season. It’s the first by a Twins player in over two months! Eddie Rosario hit three round-trippers on June 13 against the Mariners.
Following Sunday’s action, Buxton is hitting .249/.311/.404 with 13 home runs, 37 RBI, 52 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases in 394 plate appearances.
Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.
It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.
If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.
Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.
Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.