Sam Fuld has been playing since crashing into the outfield wall last Friday, but this morning he woke up with a severe headache and the Twins have placed him on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Fuld has been starting in center field for the Twins because the normal starter, Aaron Hicks, was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list last week. And in addition to Hicks and now Fuld the Twins have also used the concussion DL for Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, Trevor Plouffe, and Wilkin Ramirez within the past year. And before that Justin Morneau’s career was nearly ruined by a concussion.
As for who’ll play center field for the Twins now … well, today it’s Eduardo Escobar, a career-long infielder with zero center field experience who looked terrible in left field yesterday and misplayed a ball that probably cost Minnesota a game. Eduardo Nunez is another option, but he’s also a career-long infielder. And to think, not so long ago the Twins felt they had so much organizational center field depth that they traded Denard Span and Ben Revere in the same offseason.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.