The Minnesota Twins are 4-0 to begin the 2017 season. They’ve used all aspects of the game to help them win those 4 games. They’ve pitched very well, they’ve played great defense and they’ve scored plenty of runs to win 2 games and as much as they needed to win the other two games.
Unfortunately, Byron Buxton is struggling mightily at the plate and he’s hitting out of the number 3 spot in the batting order. He’s still playing great defense and the Twins have needed that defense to help win the 4 games.
So, here’s the question, with Byron Buxton struggling, do you move him down in the batting order to take some pressure off of him? Or, do you leave him in the 3 spot because the team has been winning?
On the season, Byron Buxton is 1-for-18 with 1 hit, 1 walk and 11 strikeouts. He’s struggling to make contact with the ball. Because of that, we’ve heard he can’t hit and he’s terrible and, of course, we’ve heard the Twins should move him out of the 3 spot in the batting order. A lot of fans thought right off the bat (no pun intended) that he shouldn’t be hitting from that spot in the batting order, anyways.
Before the game, Paul Molitor said he won’t consider moving Buxton out of the third spot just yet. Then, last night, Byron went 0-for-4 with 4 strikeouts and he said after the game, “I ain’t swinging the bat so good.” He also made 2 spectacular catches in the first inning to keep the game scoreless on one catch and at 1-0 with the other catch. The 2nd catch was the 3rd out of the inning and the White Sox had runners on first and second so most likely 2 runs would’ve scored if he doesn’t catch that ball. The final score was 3-1 Twins so he’s helping the Twins win with the glove despite being non-existent with the bat.
Why mess with what might be a winning formula and, at the same time, chance messing up Byron Buxton’s mental state even more by moving him from the 3rd spot in the batting order? He’s already putting too much pressure on himself to produce, thinking he has to swing when he doesn’t, being too anxious on every pitch. He’s going to put in the work to get out of this slump and he’ll have the help & support of all his teammates and coaches to get him through it so leave him there for now while reassuring him of the reasons he was put in that spot to start the season.
Someone commented that it doesn’t matter if they’re winning. What? The whole point of the game is to win! What other reason is there for playing the game? YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! Herm is right! Now, teams can play bad and win and play good and lose. There’s almost always something that can be done better to help you win, but, like someone else said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
So, let’s say he moves down the batting order after 4 games and 19 plate appearances and the Twins start losing. What do you do then? Move him back? Try something else? There’s no reason to panic after 4 games no matter who’s struggling at the plate, in the field, or on the mound. It’s a 162-game season. Players can’t be playing scared that they’re going to come out if they make a mistake. It’s a team game. The team wins or the team loses.
We’d love to hear your thoughts, or ‘Takes.