Clint Barmes out 4-6 weeks with fracture in left hand

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Clint Barmes was optimistic that he only suffered a bruise after being hit on the left hand by Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova last night. However, X-rays this morning revealed a non-displaced fracture of the the fifth metacarpal bone. In layman’s terms, a broken hand.

According to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle, Barmes will be sidelined for about 4-6 weeks.

“The good news is that they said I can stay in shape with everything, pretty much – throwing, running, all my core stuff,” said Barmes, who is righthanded. “I just can’t use my hand right now to catch the ball or swing.”

The injury to Barmes now sends the Astros scrambling for a starting shortstop. Matt Downs, Angel Sanchez, Anderson Hernandez and Oswaldo Navarro all remain in big league camp while Tommy Manzella, who was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this week, is also a possibility.

You know, the Astros’ options for shortstop might be worse than what the Marlins could have at third base to begin the season. I didn’t think that was possible.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.