Byron Buxton returns, plays center field for the Fort Myers Miracle
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton will take the field Sunday for the Fort Myers Miracle, Twins general manager Terry Ryan confirmed.
UPDATE: Buxton went 0-for-2 Sunday before he was replaced by Max Kepler.
Buxton had tweeted this early Sunday:
Excited to be getting back on the field today! #pumped— Byron Buxton (@OfficialBuck103) July 6, 2014
"He's ready to go," Ryan said.
Buxton will play center field in his first game back in the Florida State League and likely have two or three plate appearances. Ryan has said that Buxton will need to re-earn his promotion up the minor league ladder. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll have to impress with statistics, though. If he's putting together good at-bats and stealing bases and playing solid defense in the outfield, he'll likely move up.
"Hopefully he'll be productive and go out and do a good job and we can get him to the next level. That's what I hope."
Buxton hurt his left wrist diving for a ball in spring training. He returned May 4 for the Miracle and got just 20 plate appearances before re-aggravating the injury sliding while running the bases.
Ryan said the Twins are not worried about a similar setback this time around.
"No, that wrist is healed," Ryan said. "I think we handled it well the first time and unfortunately he just tweaked it. That happens. He's ready to go. As you all know, he's been out a long time."
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday that he'd been getting good reports on Buxton and that he was "getting close."
"He's been taking a lot of swings and feeling pretty good," Gardenhire said. "I'm sure he's excited. He probably never has had that in his whole life—having to sit out."