Simmons fractured bone in right hand – updated

Philadelphia – The Braves’ dynamic rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons fractured the fifth metacarpal on his right hand Sunday against the Phillies making a head-first slide into second base.

It’s sobering news for the Braves, who were playing their last game before the All-Star break on such a high note otherwise, sweeping a three-game series from the Phillies. Simmons will be re-examined by Braves hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie in Atlanta on Monday to determine the course of treatment.

Injuries of this nature can require four to six weeks to heal and even longer if surgery is required. The Braves wouldn’t speculate on a how much time Simmons might miss before he sees Lourie, but given that it’s a fracture, it’s a significant injury to a player who’s become an important part of the team in a short amount of time.

“That’s just the way it goes, this game of ours, sometimes,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “You pitch three great games and you win three, and then you still feel sick to your stomach with Simmons with his fractured (hand) there.”

Given the way Simmons has played since being called up less than six weeks ago, it’s fitting the injury came on a hustle play. Simmons legged out a double on a ball to center field in the fourth inning, taking advantage of a half-hearted throw by Jason Pridie. But the head-first slide cost him.

“You’ve got to take some risks,” Simmons said. “You can’t just be passive. If I get a chance to do it again, I might slide (feet first) this time, but I’m going to go hard though.”

Gonzalez has come to appreciate the hustle by Simmons, though he’d prefer not to see so many head-first slides. That’s something the Braves will continue to address.

“It’s one of those things you preach about it,” Gonzalez said. “But what a heads-up play. He ran the bases right from the very beginning, something that you preach…He can slide 2,000 times and that stuff never happens to him. So it’s a freak play.”

Simmons was X-rayed at Citizens Bank Park and was wearing a splint on his right hand after the game.

Simmons just won NL rookie of the month for June, after leading all league rookies in batting average (.333), on-base percentage (.365) and hits (30) in his first month in the major leagues. He had spent the first two games of this Phillies series making highlight plays at shortstop.

“Stuff happens,” Simmons said. “I’ve got to live with the consequences. It’s tough, but I can’t do anything about it now.”

Eric Hinske pinch hit for him in the fifth inning, then Jack Wilson replaced Simmons at shortstop in the bottom of the fifth. The veteran Wilson has been the backup shortstop all season but doesn’t figure to be a long-term solution. The Braves have Tyler Pastornicky in Triple-A Gwinnett whom they can call on when the Braves resume play after the All-Star break. They might also decide to try to add a shortstop via trade before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

Braves general manager Frank Wren indicated late Sunday afternoon those would be decisions he and his staff will mull over during the break.

Pastornicky beat out Simmons for the shortstop job coming out of spring training, in part because Simmons was slowed by a strained oblique muscle. Pastornicky struggled to provide the Braves the kind of defense they needed at shortstop, though, and Simmons was called up from Double-A Mississippi on May 30.

Simmons has been impressive both defensively and offensively since his call-up, hitting .296 with seven doubles, a triple, three home runs and 15 RBIs, as well as making all the plays defensively.

“It’s tough losing him for an extended period of time with how much he’s meant to us,” Braves catcher Brian McCann said.

224 comments Add your comment

VinnyD

July 8th, 2012
3:38 pm

Currently, my favorite Brave. Love the way this guy plays.

urban redneck

July 8th, 2012
3:38 pm

NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Jim

July 8th, 2012
3:41 pm

Why oh why do these guys keep sliding head first? You’re asking for injury and you don’t get there any faster.

Andrelton Simmons

July 8th, 2012
3:45 pm

Jim, I definitely got there faster by sliding head first. You can’t fault me for playing hard.

Bigbrave

July 8th, 2012
3:45 pm

Completely agree Jim!

So?

July 8th, 2012
3:46 pm

Fortunately hes got some time off now. Great kid. By the way, whatever happened to the McCann haters?

LaBrenda Watson

July 8th, 2012
3:47 pm

Carroll, could you tell if it was the little pig that went to market?

Jim

July 8th, 2012
3:49 pm

Not faulting him for playing hard; faulting him for playing stupid. We’ve lost Heyward and Prado for key stretches over the last two years because of head-first slides. Your hands are completely unprotected when you go in head first. Go in feet first and you’re the one who can do some damage.

Earl

July 8th, 2012
3:51 pm

Max!! Maxwell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you gotta go home now. We we we.

Zac in Tempe

July 8th, 2012
4:01 pm

Slide head-first, but hold gloves. No reason to expose your fingers. Still hard to fault him.

BigGTMike

July 8th, 2012
4:01 pm

And we lost Freeman on a feet first slide. Nonissue.

beef pocoroba

July 8th, 2012
4:05 pm

no more sliding!

phil

July 8th, 2012
4:10 pm

Stupid….oh well.

Mike

July 8th, 2012
4:17 pm

OK….so now it’s broken. I guess there’s no way to fight stupidity unless Wren lays down a policy against head first.

BravesFaninBama

July 8th, 2012
4:24 pm

Man, oh man…This sucks SO bad. This is going to be a huge blow to this team…

Do you go with Pastronicky? Wilson?

Darn.

So?

July 8th, 2012
4:31 pm

Would the baseball expert who wrote yesterday morning that the braves would lose the last two games against the phillies please report back in?

BravesfaninWis

July 8th, 2012
4:31 pm

This news sucks. I guess we are now stuck with Wilson or Pastornicky, or both. Either way, this sucks.

Brave New World

July 8th, 2012
4:32 pm

Heal well, Andrelton!

extremus

July 8th, 2012
4:33 pm

I think it should be obvious by now after so many hand injuries that the Braves should begin enforcing rules against head-first slides. It’s just playing roulette and it’s never a matter of if an injury will occur; it’s WHEN.

I really hope Andrelton Simmons has a speedy recovery and can get back on the field soon, but the injury is to his throwing hand, so it’s hard to say how this will affect him long term.

braveshoo

July 8th, 2012
4:36 pm

We have to bring up Pastornicky. Old man Wilson just doesnt have it anymore. He will kill us.

doc c

July 8th, 2012
4:37 pm

coming from a former player i always went in head first and jammed to many fingers to count. you cant fault him for hustling on the play. its also easier to protect yourself from an errant throw going in head first rather than catch a ball to the face going in feet first.

Tampa Gator

July 8th, 2012
4:38 pm

Anyone notice how fast “Not A” BravesfaninBama traveled from Bama back to Wis to again become “Not A” BravesfaninWis……just to say everything in life sucks.

RunninWithTheDawgs

July 8th, 2012
4:39 pm

A pinkie fracture. He could be back in the lineup in as soon as three weeks.

Tampa Gator

July 8th, 2012
4:40 pm

Then he became “Braveswho”……but life still sucks…..or kills. There isn’t a postive bone in this person’s multiple personalities.

chem

July 8th, 2012
4:40 pm

probably more like 4-6 weeks

Tampa Gator

July 8th, 2012
4:41 pm

I like turtles!

JNick

July 8th, 2012
4:42 pm

As was stated, Freeman was injured on a feet-first slide….so pick your poison….a solid solution for head first slides is to HOLD your batting gloves in each hand, keeping your fingers protected and still allowing you to slide head first, if you feel that you must.

Heal quickly Simba. As for McCann….all my hate mail/postings seems to have worked. He woke up. Nice to see.

Tampa Gator

July 8th, 2012
4:43 pm

Jar really looked great today after that homerun. Pitched to the corners and really had the Phillie hitters off balance all day. It is a great thing to see him coming back….and may become even a better “pitcher” in the long run. If Ben Sheets comes up and throws well….things look good for the second half…..if no one else hurts any pinky fingers. Get well soon, Simmons. You are a terrific young player. Go Braves.

Peachstealth

July 8th, 2012
4:44 pm

5th metacarpal isn’t pinkie finger it’s the bone in the hand between the wrist and finger.

Tampa Gator

July 8th, 2012
4:44 pm

Now…..HE…..SHE…..IT…..has transformed himself, sheself, itself…..into TAMPA GATOR…..go figure…..at 4:41PM. I am shocked.

Cody Mac

July 8th, 2012
4:44 pm

@ Jim – When it’s a close play like that, mental tendency is to slide head-first because it’ll give you a chance to reach around the tag attempt. Sliding feet first in that situation would’ve resulted in an out, with Utley’s leg blocking that end of the bag.

By going in with his hands, he could accurately reach over/around the leg to hit the bag before the tag was applied.

Obviously it’s a much larger injury risk, but it’s done for a reason…not because he’s “playing stupid”.

Tampa Gator

July 8th, 2012
4:46 pm

If it is that bone……at least two months minimum……then a little bit of struggle to hit when he gets back. Oh boy. Just too bad for the young man. But he has an extremely bright future.

Tampa Gator

July 8th, 2012
4:48 pm

JNick…..

I thought it was his sessions with his brother that did the trick…..not your postings. Excuse me, I must have been mistaken. Now….start posting about Uggla….please.

Tampa Gator

July 8th, 2012
4:49 pm

I am paranoid!

GwinnettDad

July 8th, 2012
4:49 pm

Bummer. Hope he’s back in the lineup ASAP.

Dirty Dawg

July 8th, 2012
4:53 pm

Yeah it was a hustle play, but it turned into a wasted play. Hard to think about it – instincts are instincts – but leaving first base open with the number eight hitter up followed by a weak-hitting pitcher basically was all for naught. Actually it was less than naught since, in my opinion, we just lost the best SS in the league. Let’s hope the healing won’t take too long and that Pastornicky will be better than he was in April and May. Maybe if the rest of the bats come around we can get by with Jack Wilson hitting eighth cause his glove is tons better than Pastors’.

Tampa Gator

July 8th, 2012
4:55 pm

BravesfaninWis….

Stealing people’s posting names and posting can get you banned…..hopefully. Are you 12 years old? If so, I apologize. If not, get some help. Have a nice day. Go Braves.

Ted M

July 8th, 2012
4:56 pm

I’m so freakin’ sick and tired of Jack Wilson. He has no business whatsoever of being on the Braves team. He can’t hit at all…certainly can’t pinch hit. He’s not that good a fielder and he’s not that fast. Veteran leadership my as$ let Jones, Prado & McCann provide the veteran leadership. If you can’t trade for a back up infielder let Pastronicky do it (when Simmons gets back from his broken finger).

ldh

July 8th, 2012
4:57 pm

I’ve broken that same bone.It will be 6-8 weeks recovery time.Braves are done anyway,not enough pitching.

Bobby Dews

July 8th, 2012
4:59 pm

jason

July 8th, 2012
5:00 pm

Dee Gordon, Bonifacio, Simmons all break bones in their hands and dl’d with head first slides. Bonifacio has missed seven weeks. Dee Gordon is going to be out for six weeks. And now Simmons breaks a finger in his throwing hand.

Nothing more stupid than the head first slide. The play isn’t worth it as now their starting shortstop playing well is out to the end of august probably.

moboman

July 8th, 2012
5:02 pm

the stolen base wasn’t worth the DL trip. How many head first sliding injuries before ball clubs forbid them? At least if he had been clutching gloves might have been avoidable.

So?

July 8th, 2012
5:05 pm

Jnick, raging against players having tough weeks marks you as a half-fan, one with lots of opinions and half as much real knowledge. You likely denounced JJ earlier and Uggla now and will do the same for the next player to slump. You’re a chump.

TP

July 8th, 2012
5:06 pm

Let’s say he’ll return around the third week in Aug and Pastronicky us batting .300…..then what?

Top Chopper

July 8th, 2012
5:07 pm

Don’t other teams have rules against head first slides? This is how Heyward was hurt also. I blame the manager!

TP

July 8th, 2012
5:11 pm

Yeah, that head first sliding really cut Pete Rose’s career short.

Largo

July 8th, 2012
5:11 pm

Dumb Dumb Dumb!

Macon Fan

July 8th, 2012
5:16 pm

By going in with his hands, he could accurately reach over/around the leg to hit the bag before the tag was applied easily break a bone in his hand that put him out 4-6 weeks and possibly affect his whole career.

Angel Wings

July 8th, 2012
5:16 pm

That’s tough. Simba sweetheart

KYBravos' fan

July 8th, 2012
5:17 pm

I detest the head first slide. It’s obviously not taught. It’s just(IMO) an instinctual move caused by PURE hustle. I’m an oldtimer, because as a kid, the first guy I remember sliding like that was “Jungle Jim” Rivera of the ‘59 “Go-Go White Sox? They lost to Dodgers in the WS. Anybody out there as old as I am remember him? He was a big-time hustler. Go Braves!!!

1eyedJack

July 8th, 2012
5:18 pm

If he hit a double how could he be holding gloves when he slid?

Tim

July 8th, 2012
5:19 pm

It’s effectively a “boxer fracture”, not a pinkie finger fracture. Peach is right, it is the bone between the wrist and the finger, on the outside of the palm of the hand. Not sure holding something would have helped.

old school player

July 8th, 2012
5:20 pm

To all the posts who continue to stress that he needs to be clutching his gloves…how do you expect him to do that if he just hit the ball?!? Do you wish to see him running and trying to take them off as he runs? Of course not. Baseball is a sport. People get injured playing sports. I’m just thankful he was playing hard and not just jogging to first. Unfortunate…yes, but I’ll not fault his effort.

1991 braves

July 8th, 2012
5:21 pm

If the braves had a decent hitting coach maybe the players wouldn’t have to rely on their fathers or brothers to help them adjust their swings and get out of slumps. First it was Chipper, and now McCann. Proof once again that the braves have the worst coaches and manager in baseball. Too bad Venter’s father or brother can’t help him with his mechanics. The sad thing is that braves fans will have to watch Pastornicky making his many errors, and Wilson making his errors and his pitiful swing. Simmons was the only bright spot on this team, and now he will be gone for several weeks.

jason

July 8th, 2012
5:25 pm

Someone earlier was mentioning heyward getting hurt sliding head first a few years ago.

Heyward at the time was living up to the publicity and having a great rookie year. He damaged limaments in his thumb sliding head first into third and has never been the same. I saw an interview with him over a year after he was injured and he said he still can’t bend his thumb back and was told it will never be the same.

Doc

July 8th, 2012
5:27 pm

After reading through the comments, I wonder how many people that comment actually watch the game. Simmons didn’t steal a base. He couldn’t have his gloves in his hands, because he was hustling out a double. When was he supposed to take his gloves off, coming out of the batters box, rounding first, or digging towards second? C’mon people.

Hope he heals quickly. Also, it’s good to have McCann back offensively and it was nice to see Uggla’s jack today.

Angel Wings

July 8th, 2012
5:29 pm

Does anyone here think maybe now make a trade for SS? I don’t know just asking?

kral

July 8th, 2012
5:30 pm

1991…memorial…to AG…and Gomer P…STUPID is as stupid ….blogs

kmarshall 4

July 8th, 2012
5:33 pm

anybody but pastornicky nick ahmed,josh wilson we need defense at short not offense would rather have old man jack

kmarshall 4

July 8th, 2012
5:34 pm

yes angel wings no more pastornicky please

Long time fan

July 8th, 2012
5:35 pm

He could always toughen up and play through it but that is very wishful thinking. We will find out tomorrow and be glad the all-star break is this week and he won’t miss a lot of time.

64 year Braves fan

July 8th, 2012
5:36 pm

Chipper Jones should teach all Braves players how to slide feet first. He knows how to do it.
Head first slides lead to serious injuries and you don’t get there any faster. Feet first popup slides are best. Why don’t they insist on that in the minor league system. This could cost the Braves a playoff
spot.

kral

July 8th, 2012
5:36 pm

Sportfans we have no other choice than the pastor ….right now

Really?

July 8th, 2012
5:37 pm

@jnick is right… many players hold their batting gloves in their hands, thus their fingers are curled not sticking out and this seems to help a lot.

Angel Wings

July 8th, 2012
5:38 pm

Called back to work. See ya Go Braves!

braveslover

July 8th, 2012
5:39 pm

Since it’s not a finger break it will not affect his batting as much and should not affect his throwing at all. Depending on the type of break (complete vs incomplete) will determine time missed and rehab. Here’s hoping the news tomorrow is an incomplete break, couple of weeks in a soft cast and then a couple of rehab assignments. Here’s also hoping that Pastornicky matured a bit at AAA and will help the Braves while he’s here. He had a decent bat when he was here just looney in the field.

Cheesefrog

July 8th, 2012
5:42 pm

This is always a tough argument when it comes to the head-first slide. But besides the fact that so many guys hurt their necks, shoulders and fingers sliding head-first, to me it’s just a simple matter of your exposed fingers vs. the fielder’s cleats with all his weight on them. The fingers are bound to lose. And in this case Simmons couldn’t have held his gloves because he was the batter. I understand it’s more instinctive, but geez is it worth it? If Utley’s got his leg in front of the bag then slide and make HIM pay with your cleats. Gonzalez is raving about what great hustle it is, and Simmons says he’d do it again if had a do-over. I hope they feel the same way every time they see Wilson or Pastornicky walking back to the plate after failing to get a hit.

Long time fan

July 8th, 2012
5:43 pm

It has been a mixed bag with Pastornicky at Gwinnett from the games I have seen on CSS or heard on the internet. He has had good moments and then bad moments.

kral

July 8th, 2012
5:46 pm

yes ….I saw him in HD rounding 1st,,,churning to 2nd turning a sure single in to an impossible 2b….saw him trying to pull off his gloves…did some of you.. %%%%…quote it …not watch the game…but still feel compelled to offer your expert advice

Whiskey River

July 8th, 2012
5:48 pm

@kral I saw the game and you are right.

DaveinNEPA

July 8th, 2012
5:50 pm

Jmo but I think they have to make a deal for a SS.

Wilson probably couldn’t take the everyday grind and we already saw that Pastornicky is NOT a ML quality SS. No amount of coaching can make his range or his arm better.

GaDawg

July 8th, 2012
5:51 pm

Rent a SS from someone who’s selling after break! Leave Pastronicky at Gwinnett and find one more starter and let’s kick some ass in the 2nd half!

Whiskey River

July 8th, 2012
5:54 pm

I completely agree but i don’t know any SS available. Maybe I don’t know.

kral

July 8th, 2012
5:54 pm

thanks WR..did notice he stopped to tie a shoelace between 1st and 2nd

Jeroen Jansen

July 8th, 2012
5:56 pm

A S , beterschap ruman, i un pronto rekuperashon.

Whiskey River

July 8th, 2012
5:56 pm

Hey GaDawg Your old buddy Yunel is available.

OPTIONS

July 8th, 2012
5:58 pm

I HOPE SIMONS WILL BE BACK SOON, I THINK THE BRAVES COULD EXPLORE OPTIONS FROM OTHER TEAMS…

SEAN RODRIGUEZ AND JEFF KEPPINGER FROM TB RAYS
BRENDAN RYAN FROM SEATTLE
MARCO SCUTARO FROM ROCKIES
MAICER IZTURIS FROM ANGELS
JAMEY CARROLL FROM TWINS

Whiskey River

July 8th, 2012
5:59 pm

@Jeroen Jansen If you can’t speak English. I speak 3 languages, which one would you like. I prefer English.

Old Time Fan

July 8th, 2012
6:02 pm

Tough about Simmons, he was hurt on a hustle play, however just about every game someone is sliding into first base. It has been proven that you get there sooner by running through the bag. The only time to slide in that situation is if the fielder has been pulled off the bag and is trying to tag the runner out. This goes back to coaching and poor teaching of fundamentals.

kral

July 8th, 2012
6:09 pm

GOSH…OTF..no one in the brave’s system knows how to coach base running..give me a break..and all the other teams hire idiots….40 yr, fan myself

Fritz Belly

July 8th, 2012
6:14 pm

It is almost impossible to slide with your batting gloves in your hands while stretching a single to a double!!! Do you expect him to be removing his gloves while running?!?!
Also, a head-first slide is faster than a feet first slide. You decel faster when more of your body mass is in contact with the ground, which happens faster in a feet-first slide than in a head-first slide. It’s called friction.

Old Time Fan

July 8th, 2012
6:15 pm

Come on kral, if you were that knowledgeable, you would be aware of this. I am not going to sit here and argue with you, but by reading a previous post, it is obvious that you are a Smart A.

Whiskey River

July 8th, 2012
6:16 pm

WOW kral your 40. you are still wet under the ears.

Andrelton Simmons

July 8th, 2012
6:16 pm

At the time of the play I was excited because it was a heads up play, but this just cost us big time for nothing. I mean we had JJ coming up bating behind him it didn’t matter if he was on 3rd we weren’t scoring a run, but you can’t fault the kid for hustling. Just really unfortunate and unlucky…Bad luck for the Braves continues.

Edit: Side note DOB can you tell us what’s up with Julio Teheran he got smacked around AGAIN today in AAA going 5 innings, 9 hits, 7 ER’s, 4 HR his ERA for the season is now 4.92 literally more than double what it was last year in the SAME LEAGUE!!!!

jason

July 8th, 2012
6:19 pm

Ex Mets are really coming back to cost the braves. Pridie’s dumb play costs simmons six weeks and reyes nailed freeman with a double play throw a few weeks ago and freeman says he still has trouble griping the bat with nerve damage to his thumb.

Jerry in Tennessee

July 8th, 2012
6:20 pm

Carpal is in the hand. Metacarpal is the finger.

Whiskey River

July 8th, 2012
6:21 pm

Come on Old Time Fan Give us all a break. Forget it and be nice. It happened It is devastating but there is nothing we can do.

kral

July 8th, 2012
6:23 pm

NO WR…56…OTF…yes..can be a smart a…especially when bloggers make broad based comments…that they have no factual reason to back up

Jasons Shrinking Waist

July 8th, 2012
6:23 pm

Well forget Grienke…the brewers wanted pastornicky

willie

July 8th, 2012
6:24 pm

He was 3-23 in July anyway. They seem to have figured out how to pitch him. Nice player but not the end of the world. I like the hustle.

Whiskey River

July 8th, 2012
6:28 pm

@kral 56 still young to me. You and OTF need to be nice.

kral

July 8th, 2012
6:31 pm

I can be both….

gotigers72

July 8th, 2012
6:32 pm

There is/are one or more teams that forbid their minor league players from sliding head first. Can’t remember which team/teams it is. Senior moment. They fine them, and with the pay they receive in the minors, that is quite a blow to the player. IMO all teams should have that policy in place.

When I coached LL, we brought a slip and slide to one of the other coaches’ houses and taught sliding feet first that way. The kids had a blast and it was an effective way of teaching that. However, there is not much sliding in LL, head first or feet first. Watching kids try to slide in Tee Ball is a hoot! In high school our coach had a “sliding pit” with sand in it as a way of teaching feet first sliding. He made everybody wear sliding pads to avoid the inevitable “strawberries” that would pop up w/o the use of said pads. There wasn’t much head first sliding in those days [late 60s, early 70s].

Unpopular Opinion

July 8th, 2012
6:33 pm

Sliding head first is just stupid and not worth it. You all can talk about hustle and heart all you want, but it’s still a silly thing to do. I’d much rather a player be called out than to spend weeks on the DL.

Whiskey River

July 8th, 2012
6:33 pm

@ Jasons Shrinking Waist. It could still happen because there is 3 other players involved.

Whiskey River

July 8th, 2012
6:34 pm

@kral Wish i was 56 again.

coach

July 8th, 2012
6:34 pm

Trade for Marco Scutaro and call up pastornicky, release wilson then send pastornicky back down when simmons is back

timS

July 8th, 2012
6:36 pm

You hate to see any player injured , head first feet first injuries happen. Tough the young man was on his way to being a super star. Hopefully he will have a speedy recovery at the same time don’t try to come back to quick. Unlike Pansie Freeman who should have been called out for interference on his piss poor slide way back when in Miami when he got a little boo-boo and wasn’t himself for almost a month. Simmons injury is legite

kral

July 8th, 2012
6:36 pm

retired 30 years…teacher

Spud

July 8th, 2012
6:38 pm

Can Prado play SS? Might be time to find out.

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