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Byron Buxton has hairline fracture in left toe

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Twins center fielder Byron Buxton will not be returning to the roster as soon as anticipated, according to a club announcement on Saturday. Buxton was working his way back from chronic migraines when he fouled a ball off of his left foot in his first rehab game last Sunday and suffered a hairline fracture in his left big toe. It’s unclear how long he’ll be sidelined from this point on, though the team expects to have an idea of his recovery timetable in the next five days and Buxton told reporters he expects to sit out at least a few days before attempting any strenuous activity.

The 24-year-old outfielder is coming off of a career year with the Twins, one in which he ranked among the best defensive center fielders in the majors and slashed .253/.314/.413 with 16 home runs and 3.5 fWAR in 511 PA. Before landing on the disabled list several weeks ago, he struggled to replicate those numbers in his first few games with the team this season, going 8-for-41 with two doubles and four stolen bases.

Without Buxton, the Twins will continue to experiment with some combination of Max Kepler, Ryan LaMarre and Eddie Rosario in the center field spot. Of the three, LaMarre has seen the most starts in center during Buxton’s absence, while Rosario has yet to start at the position.

Freddie Freeman has elbow surgery

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Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.

Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.

It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.

Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.