Update, 5:47 PM ET: The Twins’ Dustin Morse reports that no fracture was found in Buxton’s ribs after undergoing multiple tests on Saturday. It appears that he was just playing with intense rib pain following the collision at the wall, and is now facing a much shorter recovery period as he looks forward to a fairly normal offseason.
Twins’ outfielder Byron Buxton left it all on the field during the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, grinding out a run with an RBI force out and slamming into the center field wall to corral a would-be extra-base hit from Todd Frazier. It’s the latter play that got him into trouble, though he played through three more innings before the Twins yanked him in the bottom of the fifth with upper back tightness. Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press corrected that diagnosis on Saturday, reporting that Buxton had instead suffered a cracked rib on the catch.
While the club has yet to address Buxton’s injury, he’s expected to make a full recovery well in advance of spring training. He missed 18 days with a bone contusion in his left hand and a left groin strain earlier in the year, but has been largely healthy for his third campaign with the Twins and finished the regular season batting .253/.314/.413 with 16 home runs and a career-best 3.5 fWAR in 511 PA.
As for the center field wall itself, it doesn’t seem like the Twins are inclined to spruce it up with extra padding over the offseason. Per Berardino, the club shelled out over $100,000 back in 2014 when Aaron Hicks and Sam Fuld sustained concussions after similar collisions at the wall.