It's no secret that the Minnesota Twins are more consistent and win more with Byron Buxton in the lineup, but the center fielder will be out again for a while.

Buxton recently returned from a hip injury that kept him out of the lineup since May 7. While he was gone, the Twins went 17-22 during that stretch. Minnesota entered Monday night's game against Cincinnati on a four-game winning streak and they did extend it to five games with an extra-inning 7-5 win.

It wasn't all good news though. Buxton was hit in the hand by a pitch in the 4th inning. He stayed in the game for a little while before being pulled. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli confirmed in the post-game press conference that Buxton has a broken left hand and will miss more time. The exact timetable of recovery was not presented.

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"We got word that Byron has a boxer's fracture of his hand. He's going to miss some time obviously," said Baldelli, "For him, I feel immensely for him and for what he's going through."

When he has been on the field, Buxton has been a major spark for the Twins. The centerfielder has 38 hits and 10 home runs on 103 plate appearances for a .369 batting average.

The former 1st round pick is in the final year of his contract. The Twins will have a major decision to make regarding his contract situation and whether they want to shell out the money to keep him or let him go with the injury concerns. Through his career with the Twins (2015-2021), Buxton has only played in more than 100 games in a single season just one time (2017). He played in 39 of the 60 regular-season games for the Twins during the COVID-19 pandemic shortened 2020 season.

Diverging Diamond