Just over one week into the Jimmy Butler era at Target Center, it’s apparent he’s going to be a lot of fun to have in the Twin Cities. Butler marched all over Minnesota last week, visiting the Vikings and Twins while adjusting to his new life in Minneapolis. A large crowd gathered to see his press conference at the Mall of America on Thursday. Those who went (or, actually, anyone who saw the highlights) heard Butler distribute his actual phone number, which he used to chat and Facetime with fans. An instant classic.
NBAE via Getty ImagesGary Dineen
Byron Buxton (⬆ UP)
Buxton is off to a solid start in July. In five games (four starts), Buxton is 5 of 14 with a .357/.438/.571 slash line, home run, two walks, two stolen bases and one RBI. He added another incredible catch to his resume on Tuesday, robbing leadoff hitting Cameron Maybin of an extra-base hit on the third pitch of the game.
USA TODAY SportsWinslow Townson
Kyle Gibson (⬆ UP)
Gibson’s had his fair share of weeks where he was trending down. Most of the season, in fact. But the 29-year-old starting pitcher had his best start in 2017 on Wednesday, and all signs are pointing to a complete turnaround since being recalled from Triple-A on May 22. In a 5-4 win over the Angels, Gibson pitched a season-best 6 2/3 innings and allowed just two earned runs. He lowered his earned-run average to 5.82 -- which may not seem spectacular, but it was at 9.00 after four starts this season.
Adalberto Mejia (⬆ UP)
Minnesota has been searching for a consistent third starter behind Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios all season. Mejia is showing glimpses that he could be that guy. The left-hander pitched seven innings on Monday, allowing just three runs while fanning five hitters. His last four outings: 22 1/3 innings pitched, five earned runs, 15 strikeouts and a 2.01 earned-run average. The Twins have won three out of those four games, as well.
Associated PressTony Dejak
Justin Patton (⬇ DOWN)
Lost in the offseason frenzy of Ricky Rubio's departure and Butler, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague arriving in Minnesota is first-round pick Justin Patton. Patton’s stock took another hit when it was announced he suffered a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot. Timberwolves fans will have to wait to watch Patton in action, as he’s sidelined indefinitely and will miss NBA Summer League.