After getting hit in the hand by a Jon Lester fastball back on July 20th, Eric Hosmer was diagnosed with what was thought to be a bruise. He was unable to swing a bat without pain since that time, making all of four starts in that time frame. During those three games he swung a bat, he went 1-12 with five strikeouts, as he just did not look comfortable swinging the bat. Last night, after Hosmer was lifted after six innings in the Royals 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins, it was announced that he had a stress fracture in that hand, and could be on the disabled list for three to six weeks.
“They said as quick as three weeks and as long as six,” Hosmer said. “So obviously I’m going to be shooting for the three to four weeks.”
Even though the Royals took X-rays at the time of the injury, the stress fracture apparently did not appear until last night. However, the idea that the Royals waited this long to check Eric Hosmer’s hand once again, especially after he re-aggravated the injury following his appearance on July 23rd, relegating him to a late inning defensive replacement, is absurd.
For now, the Royals are planning on starting Billy Butler at first most nights, despite his defensive reputation being roughly on par with that of Dick Stuart, Dr. Strangeglove himself. Even though Butler will never be confused with Hosmer at first, he has worked to improve his defensive game, to the point where he can actually make a few plays and any throw to first does not automatically involve holding one’s breath until he catches it.
Taking Butler’s place at DH is expected to be Raul Ibanez. Ibanez has begun showing signs of life with the bat lately, with four hits, including two doubles, in his last six at bats. Hopefully, his rejuvenation will continue, at least until Eric Hosmer comes back.
Having pulled within four games of the Detroit Tigers, the Royals seemingly had a bit of momentum on their side. Now, with Eric Hosmer being sidelined for at least the next three weeks, this could be a major blow to the Royals playoff chances.