New York --

Wrote about Ervin Santana today in the paper, how he may be the key figure in tonight's game, but I also think Byron Buxton could prove quite valuable.

Santana figures to give up flyballs, so Buxton's fielding should come into play. His baserunning should, too.

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is not adept behind the plate and Buxton has become an excellent basestealer. If Buxton can get on early in the game, he could cause the Yankees problems, and perhaps unnerve young starter Luis Severino.

The Yankees are clearly the better team statistically. Baserunning and fielding are two ways the Twins can find advantages, and Buxton could be key in both areas.

One Twins employee told me that the players are remarkably loose. I think Brian Dozier is the easiest Twin to identify as a leader, but I also think that the Latin American players are benefitting from the attitude Latin American ballplayers so often display in international play and in big moments. Eddie Rosario, Jorge Polanco and Eduardo Escobar would probably be more widely recognized as vital personalities on this team if more of us spoke Spanish. They are loose and confident, and that could help a young team playing in Yankee Stadium, as well.

Of course, personalities, baserunning and strategies are likely to matter only if Santana does his job.


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