Broken hand puts Bennett on DL
Reliever sustains fracture after punching door in frustration
ATLANTA -- Based on the way he'd been pitching this season, Jeff Bennett seemingly already had one foot out the door. But courtesy of the door that fractured his left hand on Wednesday night, the right-handed reliever has secured himself at least a few more weeks as a member of the Braves organization.
After surrendering a go-ahead two-out, two-run single to Alex Rodriguez during the sixth inning of the Braves' 8-4 loss to the Yankees at Turner Field on Wednesday, Bennett unleashed his frustrations by punching a door located just outside of the dugout.
With his fit of rage, Bennett broke the fifth metacarpal of his left hand and landed a spot on the 15-day disabled list. His roster spot has been filled by left-handed reliever Boone Logan, who has limited opponents to a .205 batting average and posted a 3.28 ERA in 29 appearances with Triple-A Gwinnett this season.
"I disappointed a lot of people, including myself," Bennett said. "It's like a kid throwing a temper tantrum. I didn't handle myself in a professional manner."
While Bennett said that he felt ashamed and embarrassed, Braves manager Bobby Cox didn't publicly chastise his 29-year-old reliever, who was at least fortunate to fracture his non-throwing hand.
"It came out of frustration and happened at the spur of the moment," Cox said. "It's not the first time that he has broken a hand or a foot out of frustration. It's good that he cares. But it's not good if you break bones."
Braves hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie examined Bennett on Thursday morning and projected that the reliever will miss at least three weeks.
After punching the door, Bennett said that he pushed the bone back in place and took the mound again in the seventh inning without telling anybody what had occurred. The reliever said that his glove kept his hand somewhat stable.
"There was no way that I was going to break my hand and not be able to go back out there to pitch," said Bennett, whose seventh-inning damage was limited to Nick Swisher's leadoff homer.
Bennett exited the game after the seventh and then informed the Braves about his hand about 30 minutes later.
"To not be able to pitch for a self-sustained injury is not a good reason," Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell said.
Bennett, who has allowed opponents a .316 batting average and a .415 on-base percentage in 33 appearances this year, said that he was upset about letting A-Rod hit an 0-2 fastball into center field. But at the same time, Bennett said his frustrations extended far beyond what occurred during Wednesday night's game.
Over the course of his past 11 appearances, Bennett has worked 12 innings, allowed 16 hits, issued nine walks and been charged with seven earned runs. In addition, during this span, he has allowed three of his inherited runners to score.
"It's just one of those things where a lot of things had boiled up and I didn't handle the release of it very well," Bennett said.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.