Twins center fielder Byron Buxton will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery that will end his 2022 season, the Twins announced Friday. If the Twins were still a serious contender, the plan would have been for Buxton to return as this is a “cleanup” and “insignificant” surgery, according to The Athletic.
The Twins were in first place most of the first half and as late as Aug. 7, but they have fallen to 10 games back thanks to a combination of their poor play and the Guardians catching serious fire.
Buxton has actually been fighting through issues with his knee since tweaking it on a double in Fenway Park all the way back in April. He’s also been out of the lineup due to a hip injury since Aug. 22. Seeing a Buxton season plagued by injuries is commonplace at this point. In fact, the 92 games he played this season were the most since he managed 140 in 2017.
His games played, per season, at the MLB level since 2017: 28, 87, 39 (that was in 2020 when there were only 60 games), 61 and now 92.
When on the field this year, Buxton was productive, especially in the power department. He hit .224/.306/.526 (135 OPS+) with 13 doubles, three triples, 28 home runs, 51 RBI, 61 runs, six steals and 4.0 WAR. He remains a superb defender and baserunner.
Buxton was a first-time All-Star this season and actually started the game back in July, calling it a “special moment.” He hit a home run in the game, too.
In all, 2022 was a success for Buxton when on the field. He’ll look to build on that moving forward. The Twins have indicated Buxton is expected to be fully recovered from the surgery by spring training.