In the sixth inning of last night 4–2 Yankees loss to the Mariners, Alex Rodriguez achieved something of an ignominious milestone, becoming the fifth player in Major League history to strike out 2,000 times. His night, though, would get much worse: Two innings later, he was hit on the left hand by an 88-mile-an-hour Felix Hernandez changeup and suffered a non-displaced fracture. There’s no timetable for his return yet — he’ll return to New York with the team after today’s game and be examined tomorrow — but he’s likely to miss at least a month.
A-Rod’s had a disappointing-but-not-disastrous season thus far, but he’d been hitting better of late: In the eleven games since the All-Star break, he’d been batting .311 with an .859 OPS. Backup Eric Chavez will play today against Seattle righty Hisashi Iwakuma, but Chavez hasn’t been used much this year against lefties. (He’s batting .295 in 153 plate appearances against righties, and .077 in just sixteen plate appearances against lefties.) Beyond that, Jayson Nix can play third base, and though there are a few options in the Minors, none of them are ideal. (We suppose it’s worth noting that Eduardo Nunez was recently activated from the Minor League DL, though in the time it took us to write this sentence, Nunez made six more errors.)
Speaking of Chavez: He suffered the same injury in 2004, and for what it’s worth, it kept him out about five weeks. As for A-Rod, his postgame remarks to the press were actually pretty hard to watch. This, folks, is about as depressed as you’ll ever see a Major League Baseball player: