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.

White Sox slugger Jiménez sidelined with bruised foot

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CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez has a sprained right foot, likely sidelining the slugger for a pivotal season-ending series against the crosstown Cubs.

The White Sox had dropped a season-high five in a row heading into the weekend set, falling out of first place in the AL Central. They are hoping to get back on track heading into their playoff appearance since 2008, but the health of Jimenez is a concern.

Jimenez, who is batting .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs, was injured sliding across home in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 5-4 loss at Cleveland on Thursday. Manager Rick Renteria said the 23-year-old left fielder will need “to be off his feet” for a few days.

“There’s inflammation in there and they want to calm it down” Renteria said. “We’ll know more in a few days.”

The White Sox trailed the first-place Twins by a game heading into the series with the Cubs. They are just one ahead of the third-place Indians. The AL postseason begins on Tuesday.