Sunday night, the unstoppable Cleveland Indians won their 18th consecutive game (CLE 3, BAL 2), though they also lost rookie center fielder Bradley Zimmer to a hand injury. His hand was stepped on -- unintentionally, of course -- as he slid headfirst into first base.
Here's the video:
Following the game the Indians announced Zimmer suffered a fractured fourth metacarpal in his left hand and would be evaluated further this week. It is now being reported that the injury will end Zimmer's season:
Sources: Indians CF Brad Zimmer is expected to be miss the rest of the season with a broken hand. Indians OF depth helps but a tough loss.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 11, 2017
The team has not yet confirmed the injury will sideline Zimmer for the remainder of 2017.
The Indians, despite winning 18 in a row, are not close to completely healthy right now. They're without Michael Brantley (ankle), Jason Kipnis (hamstring), Andrew Miller (knee), Boone Logan (lat), and now Zimmer. Fortunately, the Indians are very deep in outfielders. Their depth chart looks something like this:
|Depth chart||Left Field||Center Field||Right Field|
Michael Brandley (injured)
Bradley Zimmer (injured)
Naquin finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting last season and he spent a bulk of this season in the minors. Brantley is expected back later this month, and for the time being, Chisenhall has been manning left field. Guyer can play both corners and Almonte can man all three outfield positions. So too can Naquin and Allen, a rookie September call-up. The Indians have no shortage of bodies.
Of course, the Indians are at their absolute best -- it's weird to be talking about a team on an 18-game winning streak not being at full strength -- when everyone is healthy. Zimmer's bat has cooled considerably -- he's hitting .241/.307/.385 overall following a hot start -- but he brings speed and impact center field defense. There's no way to replace that.