The Arizona Diamondbacks have had few bright spots this season. Unfortunately, the brightest of them all, All-Star first baseman and possible MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, may be lost for the season after suffering a fractured left hand during Friday night's 9-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The sad irony is, manager Kirk Gibson actually gave Goldschmidt the night off from the starting lineup, but still called on him as a defensive replacement with the game tied in the ninth inning. Goldschmidt ended up getting a plate appearance against Pirates reliever Ernesto Fieri, and during that appearance he was caught on the left hand with a fastball.
Goldschmidt was in obvious pain but remained in the game to run. After the game, he tried to be optimistic about his status, but admittedly didn't know what the x-rays would reveal.
“I’ve never had any broken bones or fractures or anything like that,” Goldschmidt said. “It felt OK, but obviously there’s still some pain because it hit it pretty good.
“I don’t know what it would feel like if it was or wasn’t anything wrong with it.”
Unfortunately, he knows the feeling now.
His loss only adds to the frustration of a lost season for Arizona. In fact, that frustration boiled over a little bit immediately following Friday's game when there was a brief confrontation between first base coach Dave McKay and a few Pirates players. Fortunately, it didn't go beyond words, but you got the sense from Kirk Gibson during his press conference that he wasn't happy, and perhaps something could come of this.
Perhaps we'll see on Saturday night.
The good news is Goldschmidt will not require surgery. However, he's looking at the six-to-eight weeks recovery time that goes along with these types of hand injuries. In a best-case scenario, Goldschmidt would return two weeks before the regular season ends. Anything beyond that and Arizona may shut their superstar down and look ahead to 2015.
If that's the case, the 26-year-old slugger finishes the 2014 season hitting .300/.396/.542 with 19 homers and 69 RBIs. He also currently leads MLB with 39 doubles and 75 runs scored.
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