Baseball’s consensus top prospect, 20-year-old Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, injured his left wrist diving for a ball on March 16 and the team announced today that he’s expected to begin the season on the disabled list.
Buxton was slated for Double-A and his odds of reaching the majors this season were fairly slim to begin with, but the news is particularly sad for Twins fans after the organization’s other stud prospect, third baseman Miguel Sano, underwent Tommy John elbow surgery that knocks him out until 2015.
For now Buxton has been diagnosed with a sprain and the Twins are hoping he can resume playing at some point in April, but … well, their injury timetables haven’t been particularly accurate in recent years.
Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.
Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.
Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.
Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.