Mets reliever Frank Francisco had to exit in the eighth inning of this afternoon’s game against the Marlins after being hit in the wrist by a Logan Morrison line drive.
Manager Terry Collins had called on Francisco after Christian Yelich led off the inning with a double. The right-hander promptly struck out Giancarlo Stanton, then walked Justin Ruggiano to bring up Morrison. Morrison fell behind 0-2 and was preparing for Francisco’s third offering before asking for time. Home plate umpire Tim Welke did not grant it, so Morrison quickly had to get his hand back on the bat in time, which he did, lacing Francisco’s 92 MPH fastball back up the middle. The ball caromed off of Francisco’s right wrist towards the first base line, allowing Yelich to score — putting the Marlins up 3-0 — while first baseman Lucas Duda applied the tag for the second out.
David Aardsma was called on in relief of Francisco, retiring Adeiny Hechavarria for the final out of the inning.
Francisco, who recently turned 34 years old, made his season debut on September 8. He had spent most of the season on the disabled list recovering from elbow surgery. In four appearances this season spanning 2.2 innings, he has a 10.13 ERA.
Update: Via Twitter, ESPN’s Adam Rubin says the ball actually hit him on the thumb, causing it to swell “significantly”.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.