Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy packed his bags and will spend the next four to six weeks on the disabled list because of a broken right hand suffered during a painfully bizarre encounter with his own luggage.
Lucroy said he was reaching under his hotel bed in Los Angeles searching for a sock Sunday night when his wife shifted a suitcase, causing it to fall on Lucroy's hand. Ouch! Sounds like an "I Love Lucy" skit. ("I Love Lucroy"? Oh, Rickie Weeks!) C'mon, Lucroys. Who wears socks in L.A. anyhow? He would have been safer joining "The Search for Spock."
The Ludicrous Lucroy Luggage Liaison, as long as you believe Lucroy's story, definitely ranks among the weirder baseball player injuries of all time. As far as this season, it tops Jeremy Affeldt's knee injury, suffered while hugging his 4-year-old son, and even Bryce Harper's too-forceful high-five on the easily breakable Mark DeRosa. The Lucroy mishap might not be as strange as Affeldt cutting his hand trying to pry apart frozen hamburger patties, however.
Lucroy spent Monday hiding his pain and trying to get ready for the Brewers' series opener at Dodger Stadium, but he couldn't grip a bat. Bench coach Jerry Narron nearly posted the lineup when Lucroy broke the news to manager Ron Roenicke about his hand (via MLB.com):
"I tried to 'wear it' today, to see if I could swing with it," a despondent Lucroy said. "I didn't want to say anything because I don't like not playing. I want to play. But I went down and took some swings and it didn't feel good, so I had to spill it."
[...] It was supposed to be a good-news day, because third baseman Aramis Ramirez returned to action after missing two games with a bruised left elbow.
No such thing for the Brewers, who already were crippled with injuries. Milwaukee has a capable backup catcher in George Kottaras, but Lucroy has a better reputation on defense and was breaking out offensively in his third full season in the majors.
Lucroy was batting .345 with a .583 slugging percentage fueled by five homers and four triples. He was hitting .514, to lead the majors, with runners in scoring position. None of those percentages are likely to be sustained, but Roenicke said Lucroy's presence will be missed:
''It hurts our team a lot,'' Roenicke said. ''He feels really bad. Lucroy was certainly very important to what we are doing.''
Three other starting players — left-hander Chris Narveson, shortstop Alex Gonzalez and first baseman Mat Gamel — are lost for the season. Outfielder Carlos Gomez, pitcher Marco Estrada and infielder Cesar Izturis, along with reserve infielder Travis Ishikawa, have been contributors who have missed time. That list of injuries is among the reasons Milwaukee has a 20-28 record after reaching the NLCS in 2011. Lucroy's absence just makes a repeat that much more difficult. The next time, he should just let the sock go, or let his wife crawl around after it. No offense, Mrs. Lucroy.
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