As mentioned in the recaps this morning, an Adam Lind comebacker hit Rays starter Jeff Niemann’s right leg last night, knocking him out of the game in the first inning. And now, we learn from the Tampa Bay Times, it has knocked him out for a minimum of 4-6 weeks, as it gave him a small fracture, just above his ankle.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said it was a “bad break,” which suggests that it could be even longer than that. Possibly even several months. This is where the Rays’ considerable pitching depth comes into play. They have Wade Davis in the pen as a possible replacement. They also have Alex Cobb and Chris Archer at Durham who could slide in.
Still, the injuries are piling up for the Rays, and that’s no good at all.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.