As first reported by Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, outfielder Josh Hamilton has been diagnosed with a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb along with a torn capsule. He needs surgery and will be out for 6-8 weeks.
Hamilton suffered the injury Tuesday on an ill-advised head-first slide into the first base bag. He was off to a promising start at the plate this season, boasting a .444 batting average and 1.286 OPS through eight games played. Hamilton had a .548 OPS last April.
J.B. Shuck was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday night to provide outfield depth.
Baseball is a young man’s game. Whereas, a few short years ago, teams went into battle with a lot of guys with ten or twelve years of experience under their belt, these days such veterans are a dying breed. Whether you chalk it up to teams favoring youth because youth is less expensive, the game simply favoring younger, more athletic players, the decline in PED use among ballplayers or some combination of all three, the fact is that it’s better to be 23 in Major League Baseball these days than 33.
Turner is 33 — he turns 34 in November — yet he remains at or near the top of his game. It’s been a shorter season than usual for him due to an injury that cost him all of April and part of May, but his production when healthy remains at a near-MVP level. He’s hitting .318/.413/.525 on the year, and his return coincided with the Dodgers shaking off their early-season doldrums. Now, with his help, they are on the verge of yet another NL West title.
Not only that, but he’s doing that while holding down a second job!