Drew Silva

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton to begin playing rehab games Friday

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Great development here for the floundering Twins.

According to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, young center fielder Byron Buxton has been performing well in simulated contests at the Twins’ spring training complex in Fort Myers, Florida and is expected to begin an official minor league rehab assignment this Friday evening with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.

Buxton has been on the shelf since June 26 with a sprained thumb. He didn’t set the world on fire in his first 11 major league games this season, batting just .189/.231/.270, but the ultra-talented 21-year-old is capable of providing a tremendous jolt for Minnesota offensively and defensively down the stretch.

Buxton was rated the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball this winter by both MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus.

As of this posting, the Twins are one game back of the second AL Wild Card spot.

Video: David Ortiz welcomes Luis Severino to the major leagues with a towering blast

Luis Severino
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Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz treated Yankees pitching prospect Luis Severino extremely rudely in the 21-year-old’s major league debut Wednesday evening at Yankee Stadium …

Severino was three years old when Ortiz made his major league debut with the Twins in 1997. The young starter struck out out seven and walked none Wednesday in a mostly impressive five-inning outing.

Aaron Sanchez drops three-game suspension appeal

Aaron Sanchez
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Blue Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez was handed a three-game suspension from Major League Baseball on Tuesday for his role in Sunday’s plunkfest with the Royals. He immediately elected to appeal, but that appeal has now been dropped per beat reporter Shi Davidi of Toronto’s Sportsnet.

Sanchez tossed a scoreless inning of relief in Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over the Twins. He wasn’t going to used in the next couple of days anyway.

The 23-year-old right-hander owns an impressive 3.39 ERA (116 ERA+) through 71 2/3 innings (11 starts, seven relief appearances) this season for the Blue Jays. He has allowed just one hit since being moved to the bullpen last month.