WHAT IS BUXTON?: Byron Buxton hit a 439-foot home run earlier this week. He hit a 426-foot blast on Friday. He has five homers and 12 RBI in eight games since his recall. He's more confident, he's sticking with that leg kick and he's showing good pop. ``The power has been a little bit unexpected for me,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ``I know he can hit them over the fence by they have come a little more regularly than I expected. That's fine. I think he's doing it with a little more of a compact swing. I think he's trying to see the ball a little bit longer. I think he's trying to balance out that aggressiveness early in the count and still be able to work an at bat and try to get one base.'' I think we can get trapped in viewing a player with an 80 run tool. Buxton is showing some signs that he might be an extra base guy (with 25-homer pop) who can drive in runs but strikes out a lot. He still has a way to go before he finds his game. A Twins official reminded me that Buxton would be a senior in college right now. It's just good that Buxton is making more contact right now so we can use our imagination as to what he could be.
SANO'S ELBOW IS FINE: Miguel Sano got to show off the hose a couple times on Friday. He threw out Mike Napoli in the first with a nice, strong throw. In the seventh, he dived to his right to grab Abraham Almonte's grounder and scrambled to his feet before unleashing a cannon of a throw to first to throw out Almonte by a step. Sano appeared at third just five times in August when his elbow became balky. His throws on Friday proved that he's healthy - and not afraid to let it loose.
MOLITOR ON RETURN: Twins owner Jim Pohlad announced in July when he dismissed Terry Ryan that Molitor would return at manager in 2017. Since the Twins have gone down the drain during the second half, some have wondered if Pohlad's pledge would change. Well, in his letter to season ticket holders this week, Pohlad repeated his intentions to bring Molitor back. And the manager appreciated that. "I'm going to try to back it up the best I can," Molitor said. "I think everyone realizes we had expectations and we fell short. Sometimes people have to fall when those things happen. I'm fortunate to be in a position where they're going to give me a shot to do a little bit better next time around." Personally, Twins ownership has been fond of Molitor too long to cut him loose after two seasons. And Molitor is too much of a fighter to quit. So the idea of him not managing here next year didn't make sense to me. This is more proof of that.