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07/11/09 10:51 PM ET
Bruce fractures wrist, exits game
Right fielder's sliding catch attempt in first goes awry
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- The image of Jay Bruce's right wrist bending backwards on the Citi Field turf was simply gruesome to watch. The Reds' right fielder suffered a fractured wrist in the first inning on Saturday against the Mets. The severity of the injury isn't fully known, but he's likely going to be out for an extended period of time. Bruce, 22, will return to Cincinnati on Sunday for an MRI exam with team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek. "I just hope Jay is not hurt too seriously," Reds manager Dusty Baker said after a 4-0 loss to the Mets. "Let's hope we don't lose him for the year." Bruce was attempting a sliding catch of David Wright's fly ball to short right field when his gloved right hand jammed hard into the grass and bent fully backwards. Although he nearly made the catch, the ball dropped and Wright had a single. Immediately, Bruce grabbed his wrist in obvious pain. "It hurt pretty bad," said Bruce after the game, his right arm in a wrap. "I was in some pretty bad pain. It's part of the game, I guess. I was trying to make the play. I caught it. Once it came back forward, I didn't have any strength in my hand. I couldn't keep it closed." After being looked over for a few moments by Baker and the trainer, Bruce walked off the field and Chris Dickerson took over in right field. In the top of the first, Bruce struck out in his only at-bat against Johan Santana. While Bruce was being checked over, many of the 39,396 fans at the game were groaning as they watched numerous video replays of the play. Baker wanted no part of watching. "I didn't even want to look at it," he said. "I saw it live and I knew something bad happened. That's what happens when you can't get your glove cleared out of the way and all your weight comes down on that very fragile area in the wrist and hand. Another inch, he clears it and catches it, and this never happens. It's not the way it worked out." Baker said that Dickerson would start in right field in Sunday's first-half finale before the All-Star break. The Reds are still planning on making a roster move to call up a player to fill Bruce's spot on the 25-man roster. The Reds have no outfielders on the 40-man roster at Triple-A Louisville, which would require a second move. Former first-round Draft pick Drew Stubbs is batting .279 with two home runs and 25 RBIs in 77 games for the Bats. Another option could be Chris Heisey, who was recently promoted from Double-A Carolina. In 14 games with Louisville, Heisey is batting .365 with three homers and 13 RBIs. "We've been operating short enough this year," Baker said. "[General manager] Walt [Jocketty] is going to try and get someone here in the morning. I'm not exactly sure who." Saturday was Bruce's first game back in the Cincinnati lineup after he was benched for two games in response to an extended slump. He is hitless in his past 14 at-bats, and is batting .207 for the season with a team-high 18 home runs and 41 RBIs. The injury is the latest to wreak havoc on the Reds' roster, which has had its regular starting eight together for only 10 games this year. At some point, Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion and Alex Gonzalez have spent extended time on the disabled list. Now, Bruce will be added to that group. "It seems like we get one guy back and we lose another guy," Baker said. "We're being tested in some kind of way. We just have to keep pushing and keep fighting."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.