You didn’t have to see Jay Bruce’s right wrist bend unnaturally to believe he had broken it – but it helped.
The questions become what the Reds do in his absence, and how long that absence will be. The Reds face one immediate problem: the only five outfielders on their 40-man roster are already on the major league roster. Thus the thought of promoting a Chris Heisey or Drew Stubbs or any other outfielder, requires somebody being pulled off the 40-man roster. Or you could move a 40-man roster player to the 60-Day Disabled List.
Unfortunately the leading candidate for that would be Bruce himself, and 60 days on the DL would make Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty’s immediate ETA for a Bruce return – as soon as six weeks – officially wildly over-optimistic. While nobody in the CitiField press box had access to Bruce’s x-rays, there wasn’t a person in there who thought the Jocketty estimate was reasonable.
While the roster move, and the length of Bruce’s absence, remain in doubt, the players Dusty Baker will use in his absence probably do not. Chris Dickerson was taking over Laynce Nix’s lefthanded platoon with Jonny Gomes in left as it was, and he is a passable rightfielder. It’s likely Nix gets back into the time-share with Gomes, and Dickerson takes over full-time in right. Exotic moves, like moving Joey Votto to the outfield, replacing him again with Ramon Hernandez at first, with the underappreciated Ryan Hanigan moving back behind the plate, seemed unlikely to the Reds’ people I talked to.
Regardless, it’s a terrible night for Bruce, who is one of the more admirable young prospects for superstardom in the game, and whose 2009 now has to make you wonder if there isn’t something to what they used to call “The Sophomore Jinx.”
ON MR. FRANCOEUR:
The two hits were not exactly titanic blasts – one was the dying quail on which Bruce injured himself, and the other a grounder that Jerry Hairston nearly made a fine play on – but Jeff Francoeur and the Mets will take it.
The positive – and this is mirrored in Atlanta with the acquisition of Ryan Church – is that even with players in funks, with reputations, with management angry at them – at this stage in the season the team getting rid of them usually charge a slight premium. You deal Church or Francoeur for a comparable player and, maybe, a prospect. Here it was a straight-up change-of-scene exchange, with the pre-set advantage to the Mets because of the age difference and the higher ceiling Francoeur still offers.
In the stands, it was obvious that after a summer of Argenis Reyes, Wilson Valdez, Fernando Martinez, et al, Mets fans were happy just to see them add a new player who, in the past, has appeared on his own baseball card.
The first “Francoeur” jersey was, apparently, sold to Joel Francisco, who wore it proudly just in front of the press box tonight.