Byron Buxton’s injury wrecked year keeps getting worse.
Buxton came into this season as the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball, but a spring training wrist injury cost him three months and after finally returning he suffered a concussion in his first game at Double-A.
That ended his season in August, but Buxton was cleared to participate in the Arizona Fall League in the hopes of recouping some of the lost playing time. And now he’s suffered another injury, this time dislocating the middle finger on his left hand while diving for a ball in the outfield yesterday.
Luckily a dislocated finger is not a particularly serious injury, but the 20-year-old Buxton still needs to show that he’s fully recovered from the wrist and brain injuries. And if his AFL season is over he’ll have played a grand total of just 40 competitive games this year.
Not surprisingly former Rays manager Joe Maddon is a non-factor in the Twins’ search to replace Ron Gardenhire and Darren Wolfson of 1500-ESPN in Minnesota says the choice looks likely to be either Paul Molitor or Torey Lovullo.
Molitor has been viewed as the favorite for the job this entire time. After years of fans and media members calling for the Minnesota native and Hall of Famer to join Gardenhire’s coaching staff he finally did so this season.
Lovullo is the only outside candidate to gain any real traction in the Twins’ search and the Red Sox bench coach is reportedly interviewing with general manager Terry Ryan and the team’s ownership for a second time.
Doug Mientkiewicz, who managed at high Single-A this season, is believed to be the Twins’ third finalist.
Two years after being fired as the Marlins’ manager Ozzie Guillen wants to get back in a dugout, even if that means joining another manager’s staff as a coach.
Guillen told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times that he’d specifically like to work under Joe Maddon wherever he ends up, but added:
I’ve managed before. Economically, I’m pretty good. I just want to be back in the game. … I’m not bigger than the game. There’s a lot of managers who went back to coaching after they were managers. That doesn’t mean anything. I’m not better than them. Whoever thinks I can help, if they ask me, I don’t mind doing it.
Guillen was a consistent winner in Chicago, posting a .524 winning percentage in eight seasons as the White Sox’s manager, and it’s tough to blame him completely for what happened to the Marlins in 2012. He’s still just 50 years old and has a World Series title, but it’ll probably take a pretty secure manager to add Guillen to the coaching staff.
Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that 21-year-old second baseman Andy Ibanez has defected from Cuba with the intention of signing with an MLB team.
Ibanez was the youngest player on Cuba’s World Baseball Classic roster last year and Badler rates him as the No. 8 prospect still in Cuba. However, he’s unlikely to get a huge contract because as a 21-year-old with only three seasons of experience in Cuba he’s subject to the international spending limits that Cuban veterans are able to avoid.
Badler speculates that he’d likely begin his American career at Double-A and projects as a solid regular rather than a potential star.
Longtime pitching coach Mike Maddux was not chosen as the Rangers’ new manager, but he hopes to stay on Jeff Banister’s staff. One potential problem: Maddux’s contract is up Friday.
At that point he’d be free to talk to other teams, but Maddux told Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas: “Jeff and I have had positive talks.”
He didn’t expand beyond that, so who knows how likely returning is at this point, but both sides have indicated they’d like to work something out.