Minor League Sports

Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton returning to Cedar Rapids Kernels on injury rehab stint

Buxton expected to be in lineup Sunday; Kernels walk off Peoria, 3-2

Byron Buxton dives and catches the ball for an out during a Cedar Rapids Kernels game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on June 15, 2013. (The Gazette)
Byron Buxton dives and catches the ball for an out during a Cedar Rapids Kernels game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on June 15, 2013. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Buck is back. The Minnesota Twins announced Saturday that center fielder Byron Buxton will join the Cedar Rapids Kernels on a major league injury rehab stint that begins Sunday and will run through at least Monday.

Buxton has been on the Injured List for the Twins since Aug. 3 with a left shoulder subluxation (partial dislocation) incurred after running into the fence during a game chasing a flyball. The 25-year-old was hitting .262 with 10 home runs and 46 RBIs in 82 games for first-place Minnesota.

“I don’t know how long, for sure, he’ll be here,” said Kernels Manager Brian Dinkelman, before his team’s 3-2, walk-off win Saturday night against Peoria at Veterans Memorial Stadium. “I know it’ll be at least a couple of games. Two, maybe three. He’ll be here a couple of games and hopefully get some action, get a few at-bats in, then we’ll hopefully get him back up to the big leagues and get him playing there again.”

Buxton burst onto the prospect scene when he played for the Kernels in 2013. He hit .341 with eight homers and 55 RBIs in 68 games, showing the speed and unreal defensive ability that helped him win an American League Gold Glove in 2017.

The former first-round draft pick out of Appling County High School in Baxley, Ga., (second overall in 2012) has struggled to hit at times in his big league career but, despite injuries, is having his best overall season.

The Kernels host Peoria at 2:05 Sunday afternoon, and Dinkelman said the plan is for Buxton to be C.R.’s designated hitter. The teams play again Monday night at 6:35, with Buxton slated to play defensively in center.

Minnesota has Monday off, then begins a road trip Tuesday at Chicago. The hope is for Buxton to return then to the Twins.

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While Cedar Rapids was on the road for 10 days last week, outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. played four games on an MLB injury rehab. Wade dislocated his thumb in just his second big league game in early July.

The Kernels (72-59, 33-28) finally returned to friendly confines after a laborious 10-game road trip that included seven straight commuter bus trips to Quad Cities and Clinton. They scored twice in the ninth to rally, the tying run scoring on Peoria reliever Freddy Pacheco’s fielding error and the winning run on Tyler Webb’s line-drive single to left field.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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