Twins' Buxton could return to the outfield 'on occasion' upon his return from the injured list

Updated Aug. 19, 2023 6:27 p.m. ET

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Byron Buxton could play in the outfield “on occasion” when he returns from the injured list, after making all of his starts for Minnesota this season at designated hitter in an effort to keep him healthy.

After appearing in 85 games, Buxton is currently rehabbing a right hamstring strain. Once he's back, the former Gold Glove center fielder could play the outfield for the first time this season.

“If it’s going to happen this season, it’s going to be after recovering and building himself up,” manager Rocco Baldelli said Saturday. "And it’s going to be now. This is going to be his best opportunity.”

Baldelli said playing the outfield would be determined by how Buxton feels and that any possibility would be only “on occasion.”


Buxton once won a Gold Glove and Platinum Glove playing center field. But injuries have kept him from playing more than 92 games in a season since a career-high 140 in 2017, when he won the fielding awards and also received MVP votes.

He's hit .207 with 17 homers and 42 RBIs this season. Buxton has been on the injured list since Aug. 4, and the time off to heal the hamstring strain has also helped his troublesome right knee.

“My biggest thing right now is just getting back on the field, however that’s possible,” Buxton said. “But yeah, it’d be fun to definitely get back out there and see what happens.”