Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports wrote a column in early May with a frightening but eye-opening lead sentence. “Someone’s going to die at a baseball stadium soon,” he surmised, because of the splintering effect of newly popularized maple bats.
That didn’t happen this afternoon at the Marlins’ Sun Life Stadium. But it could have.
Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin was struck in the left side of his chest by a shard from a broken bat while running down the third-base line during Sunday’s game against the Marlins. It cut through the skin, left a deep wound, and he had to be rushed to a local hospital for precautionary monitoring. This all comes via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Colvin will be fine. He had minimal external bleeding and will probably return to the field early this week. But had that bat shard struck him just a few inches lower — near the heart — we might’ve had a real tragedy on our hands.
It’s time to do something about the composition of baseball’s wooden bats. Whether that means outlawing maple or throwing money into research for the standardization of a type of lumber, action must be taken before a player, umpire or fan is killed at a baseball stadium.
Colvin, a rookie outfielder, has hit .254/.316/.500 with 20 home runs, 18 doubles, five triples and 56 RBI in 358 at-bats this season. He is 25.
UPDATE: MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann shares an incredible screen grab of the shard just inches from Colvin’s chest.
UPDATE II: Wittenmyer says that Colvin will remain in a Miami hospital for the next 2-3 days as a precautionary measure. The shard punctured his chest wall and air got in, but he is now in stable condition and expected to make a speedy recovery.
UPDATE III: The Chicago Tribune is now reporting that Colvin will not play again this season.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.
Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.
It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.
Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.