NEW YORK — There’s a new plan for Byron Buxton’s recovery, and it no longer includes an appearance at Yankee Stadium.
The Twins’ center fielder, who fouled a ball off his left foot on Sunday during a rehab outing with the Fort Myers Miracle, was sidelined for a second day on Tuesday because the foot remains swollen. X-rays on Monday were negative, “and we were hoping it was minor, but it’s turned out that there’s enough swelling and discomfort where it’s limited him,” Twins manager Paul Molitor reported. Buxton was sent back to Fort Myers from Clearwater, where the Class A Miracle were playing, and “we’re going to try to do some things with a toe today to relieve some of the pressure.”
No, that doesn’t sound like fun. But if all goes well, the Twins hope Buxton — who’s on the disabled list due to migraines, which went away last weekend — can play in a few extended spring training games, leading off each inning so he gets plenty of at-bats.
When might Buxton, who is eligible to be activated tomorrow, rejoin the Twins? “Probably Friday, at the earliest,” Molitor said.
Buxton won’t face the Yankees, but Tyler Duffey might. The righthander is in uniform tonight, having been summoned late last night while he had dinner with his wife in Rochester. “It’s like I never left,” Duffey pointed out. “This is where my last game [with the Twins] was last October.”
Duffey replaces Alan Busenitz, optioned back to Class AAA after the Twins’ 14-1 loss to the Yankees last night. He hasn’t pitched since Friday, when he threw three shutout innings against Columbus, so he’s available right away.
Good chance he might not be needed, though. Jose Berrios, easily the Twins’ best starter so far in 2018, is on the mound tonight, searching for his first Yankee Stadium win, and hoping to halt the Twins’ four-game losing streak. Berrios was 6 years old when CC Sabathia, his opponent tonight, made his major-league debut in 2001.
Joe Mauer, 10-for-52 (.192) in his career against Sabathia, has the night off, with Logan Morrison moving to first base and moving down to seventh in the batting order. Miguel Sano takes his spot as designated hitter, with Ehire Adrianza at shortstop and Eduardo Escobar moving to third base.
Here are the starting lineups for tonight’s game, which begins a half-hour earlier than normal (5:35 p.m. CDT):