Just this morning, we were discussing what would happen when Nick Ahmed came back off the DL, and we were looking forward to the boost this would provide the team on both sides of the ball. He had been out of the majors since being hit by a Trevor Rosenthal pitch on June 27, breaking a bone in his right hand, but was working his way back and was tentatively scheduled to come off the DL tomorrow, for the start of the series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, there had was a setback last night: while playing in a rehab game for the Reno Aces in Las Vegas, Ahmed was hit by a pitch on the arm, and had to leave the game. Tonight, Nick Piecoro delivers the bad news. Ahmed’s wrist was broken by the pitch, and he’s going to miss another six to eight weeks. That would put his return not until during the National League Division Series at the very earliest, and you’d have to wonder if we want to throw someone onto the playoff roster, who won’t have faced major-league pitching for more than three months by that point.
Piecoro says the team probably won’t be looking for outside help, so It seems likely the team will continue to use Ketel Marte as the everyday shortstop. It has to be said, Marte has looked quite impressive in his time here. His .761 OPS is actually 44 points higher than Ahmed had managed, mostly due to Marte’s better plate discipline this year. But Ahmed’s defense would have been a valuable tool: it’s a rough metric, but Marte has made seven errors this season, compared to Ahmed’s five in 77.2 more innings in the field.
Is it bad I’m not in the least surprised by this? It seems like this season has been nothing but a series of Diamondbacks’ players being hit on and around the hands, and having to miss time as a result. As well as Ahmed, the team currently also has fellow middle infielder Chris Owings on the DL with a broken finger, and catcher Jeff Mathis is out too, with a busted hand. Who knew fractures were apparently infectious?