PAWTUCKET – When the manager mentions “small crack in his bone” in the same sentence as the player’s wrist, it’s easy to dwell on the worst-case scenario.
Gary DiSarcina, however, stated that the Pawtucket Red Sox are in no rush to place first baseman/outfielder Mark Hamilton on the disabled list. On the same day that saw Hamilton honored as International League Hitter of the Week, the 29-year-old jammed his wrist while attempting to make a play in left field.
Hamilton remained in Monday’s game in Charlotte until the seventh inning. Wednesday marked the second consecutive day that he wasn’t in Pawtucket’s lineup and seen spotted in the home clubhouse with what he dubbed a “short-arm cast” on his right hand.
After describing the nature of his injury, Hamilton said that he has his fingers crossed that he’ll be down for just a couple of weeks. He underwent an MRI Wednesday that revealed a fracture that could have stemmed from a preexisting injury.
“It’s not great news, but it could have been a lot worse. They’re going to take a little time to get the pain and swelling out of there and reevaluate in a week or two,” said a somewhat relieved Hamilton, who signed a minor-league deal with Boston after spending last season with Triple-A Memphis. “It was one of those plays when the glove kind of gets caught and you end up rolling over the wrist.”
Hamilton was the PawSox’ most productive hitter on their recent 6-2 road trip through Gwinnett and Charlotte, batting .370 with four home runs and 10 RBI. His seven-game hitting streak ended the same night he got hurt.
Hamilton’s recent tear allowed him to enter Wednesday as the team leader in RBI (27). He’s also tied for second in homers with six.
“You never want to get hurt, especially when you’re going well,” expressed Hamilton. “The last thing you want is to watch from the sidelines. I have no choice so it’s unfortunate.”
If Hamilton ends up going on the disabled list, he would join a PawSox group that includes outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr., Alex Hassan, Mitch Maier and pitcher Oscar Villarreal.
The PawSox will feature the same pitching combo for Saturday’s game at McCoy Stadium against Indianapolis that they used Monday in Fort Mill, S.C. Rehabber Franklin Morales will start the game with Terry Doyle following on what will be his normal day to throw.
Morales’ first start with Pawtucket came Monday when he tossed three innings of one-run ball. He threw 48 pitches. DiSarcina hasn’t received confirmation as to how long Morales will work Saturday, though Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Tampa Bay that the lefty is scheduled to pitch four innings.
DiSarcina did note that he feels Doyle will be better prepared to follow Morales. When he piggybacked Morales on Monday, he was roughed up for five runs in one inning.
“His role is one as a starter so he has his routine down. I think any time your routine gets messed up, it affects you,” said DiSarcina. “We preach a lot about staying in your routine, but you don’t want to be a slave to your routine. I think the last time was an aberration for Doyle, so expect him to do better the next time.”
DiSarcina admitted that he didn’t know much about Chris Martin other than the fact that he was tall. It didn’t take long for the skipper to develop a deeper appreciation for the relief pitcher who’s listed at 6-foot-7.
Called up from Double-A Portland last week, Martin made his Pawtucket debut Monday and needed just seven pitches to retire four Charlotte hitters. His scoreless inning streak now stands at 24 on the season after the right-hander tossed two scoreless frames Wednesday against Gwinnett.
“It felt good to go out there and pound the zone with strikes,” said Martin.
“He’s pretty legit,” DiSarcina smiled. “When he was letting go of the ball, it looked like it was way ahead of him. He wasn’t intimidated out there. Then again, when you throw 98 miles-per-hour, you shouldn’t be intimidated.”
The 26-year-old Martin joined the Red Sox via the Independent American Association route in March 2011. He spent the entire 2012 campaign with the Sea Dogs where he bounced back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen. Starting off the season in the blazing fashion he did – Martin’s 21 scoreless frames with Portland included 27 strikeouts – DiSarcina felt that it was an only a matter of time before he received a promotion.
“He’s pitched his way out of Double A and deserves the chance,” said DiSarcina.
Martin has two pitches in his arsenal, a mid 90s fastball and a slider. He mentioned that’s been working on incorporating a split-finger fastball.
“I was a little surprised to get the news; I figured I would stay in Portland a little bit longer, but I’ve been keeping my mind focused on pitching well,” said Martin.