Eric Chavez suffered a broken hand and was out exactly eight weeks. That’s how long he expects to be the New York Yankees third baseman as Alex Rodriguez hand broken Tuesday night in Seattle heals.
Two months is a long time for the Yankees, team with the best record in baseball, to go without Rodriguez’ bat in the lineup. He’s hitting .276 with 15 home runs and 44 RBIs, but is as explosive a batter as there is in the game. And just two days ago he talked about how great he felt at the plate.
“It’s a tough blow,” a disappointed Rodriguez said about an hour after the game. His left hand heavily wrapped, he will fly back with the team after Wednesday’s game and be checked out by the Yankees’ medical staff on Thursday.
“I never thought it was a fracture,” he said. “But it was.”
It was the eighth inning of a 4-2 loss when Rodriguez grabbed his left hand with his right after being hit, and never let go even as he fell to the ground, writhing on the dirt near home plate.
He was struck by a Felix Hernandez pitch, breaking the fifth metacarpal. It was one thing to have lost five of six games to start a road trip. It was quite another to lose their big bat in the 3 hole.
“It’s non-displaced (fracture), which is good,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “But we’re going to have to make some changes, which is too bad, because Alex was just starting to feel good again.”
The pitch from Hernandez was a 91 mph change up and was the third pitch of his to find a New York batter. Hernandez hit three of the final five batters he faced, hitting Ichior Suzuki in the seventh and Derek Jeter before Rodriguez in the eighth.