BYRON BUXTON

Three reasons for hope

• Last season, after three bad months, he batted .314 with a .912 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage) over his final 62 games.

 

• He won the AL’s Platinum Gold Glove as the league’s best defender. He was worth 2.8 WAR (wins above replacement) on defense alone.

 

• For all his struggles this season, he has only had 94 plate appearances for the Twins, about one month’s worth in a typical six-month season.

Three reasons for concern

• Mounting injuries. This season, he’s had migraines, a broken big toe and left wrist inflammation. He injured the same wrist and battled migraines last year. In 2014, he sprained that left wrist and suffered a season-ending concussion in Class AA.

 

• Frigid starts. His career first-half OPS is .559, compared to .807 in the second half.

 

• Strikeouts. He has wasted his speed, whiffing in 31.7 percent of his career plate appearances. Even in Class AAA this year, his strikeout rate is 30.3 percent.

MIGUEL SANO

Three reasons for hope

 

• At this time last year, he had a .906 OPS and had just appeared in the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.

 

• He has lost close to 20 pounds and increased his leg strength, helping revamp his hitting mechanics at Class A Fort Myers.

 

• From all accounts, Sano has “bought in” to the Twins’ plan to strengthen his entire physical and mental foundation before bringing him back to the majors.

Three reasons for concern

• Weight. Long a concern, it got away from Sano last winter while he was recovering from surgery to insert a rod into his broken left leg.

 

• Sliders. According to Baseball-Savant.com, Sano’s batting average against the slider was .103 with a 65.6 strikeout percentage before his demotion.

 

• Commitment. The Twins keep hoping the light will come on for Sano, where he fully dedicates himself, mentally and physically, to becoming a perennial All-Star player.

JOE CHRISTENSEN