PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks’ dismal season got worse Saturday with the news that All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has a fractured left hand.
Goldschmidt, runner-up in National League MVP voting last season, was hurt when he was hit above his ring finger by a pitch from Ernesto Frieri in the ninth inning of Friday night’s 9-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Diamondbacks have placed Goldschmidt on the 15-day disabled list and there was no word before Saturday’s game on how long he is expected to be sidelined.
“I was holding out hope. Wasn’t trying to think about it being broken,” said Goldschmidt, who stayed in the game after being hit and advanced to second base before the final out was made.
Goldschmidt was to be examined further on Saturday after getting X-rays late Friday. He broke a bone in his left hand, the hamate, while in college and had it removed, but had not had any other injuries of that sort since.
“I was trying to make a fist, which I can do,” said Goldschmidt, who had no protective cast, splint or bandage over his hand as of Saturday afternoon. “After the game there was some swelling. I knew there was something. I was just hoping just a bad bruise or something like that. But unfortunately it wasn’t.”
Despite his team’s overall woes, Goldschmidt is among the NL leaders in several hitting categories. He leads the league in doubles and extra-base hits, is tied for first in runs scored, is second in total bases and is third in RBIs and walks.
Voted a starter by fans in this year’s All-Star game, Goldschmdt is batting .300 with 19 home runs. He has 75 runs scored, 220 total bases, 39 doubles, a triple, 64 walks and nine stolen bases.
A Gold Glove winner last year, Goldschmidt has seven errors in 109 games. Arizona recalled outfielder Alfredo Marte from Triple-A Reno to take Goldschmidt’s roster spot.
Goldschmidt was out of the lineup for only the second time this season Friday night but entered in a double-switch in the ninth inning of a game that was tied 4-4.
The incident immediately drew the wrath of several Diamondbacks players, and there was a showdown between the teams after the game in front of the Arizona dugout. No one did anything but talk, though.
While catcher Miguel Montero called the situation “a little shady,” Goldschmidt said after the game he didn’t think he was hit purposely and reiterated that Saturday.
“It’s part of the game. I mean, who knows? People get hit, it’s just part of it,” Goldschmidt said. “So once I figure out the rehab (plan), just go with that and obviously you’d like to play, but can’t change what happened.”
Frieri apologized several times for what happened, saying he didn’t mean to hit Goldschmidt.
“I feel bad. I’m sorry,” Frieri said. “I know that he’s a really valuable player for the Diamondbacks. I just try to make my pitches and in this game, if you don’t make your pitches inside, you’re going to get hit.
“It wasn’t on purpose. I don’t have anything against him. I was just trying to get him out,” Frieri added.
Goldschmidt isn’t the only Diamondback in recent history to have to deal with a broken bone from being hit with a pitch. Second baseman Aaron Hill missed 10 weeks last season after being hit on his left hand, and outfielder A.J. Pollock was hit on the right hand on May 31 and is only playing in rehab games.
“It hurts. He’s one of the best players on our team for sure. One of the best players in the league,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “There are risks to playing the game. We’re very familiar with guys getting hit in the hand.”
It could mean a new approach when dealing with inside pitches.
“Maybe something to talk about, just moving forward about how to turn into the pitch a little better,” Gibson added.
Jordan Pacheco played first base Saturday night against Pittsburgh. Gibson said outfielder Mark Trumbo could also get some action at first base down the road.