Third baseman Nolan Arenado left the game on Friday night against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning after suffering a mallet fracture to his left middle finger on a headfirst slide into second base. The injury will likely sideline the 23-year-old for 6-8 weeks -- likely until the All-Star break, if not longer.
Here's the play in question:
Kids, that's why you don't slide head first. An extra bag isn't worth the extra risk of something like that happening to you. Arenado stayed in the game long enough to score Colorado's first run, but left the game after the half inning.
What is a mallet fracture you ask? Here's Patrick Saunders with the answer:
In a general mallet injury, the tendon around a knuckle is torn and the remedy is wearing a splint for 6-8 weeks. But when a fracture is involved, often surgery is required.
They say that baseball is a game of inches -- in this case, it was a game of just a few feet. Had his laser shot to left field off of Atlanta starter Gavin Floyd been just a few feet higher, Arenado would have cruised around the bases with his seventh home run of the year. Instead, the Colorado Rockies will be without their Gold Glove third baseman for a while.
It's a tough blow for the Rockies, who will miss Arenado's stellar third base defense and his .305/.333/.489 batting line. Josh Rutledge should get the call-up from Triple-A Colorado Springs to replace Arenado's roster slot. DJ LeMahieu may slide over to the hot corner while Rutledge mans second base on an every day basis. Either way, Colorado's road to the playoffs just got a whole lot tougher.