Maxwell fractures hand, heads to DL

Maxwell fractures hand, heads to DL
April 24, 2013, 12:30 am
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Maxwell on broken hand

Justin Maxwell fractured his left hand and was put on the 15-day disabled list, manager Bo Porter said after Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Mariners.

"At least we got the win out of it," Maxwell said.

The center fielder was in visible pain when he was hit by a Hisashi Iwakuma pitch, which drove in a run with bases loaded in the third inning. After Porter and head trainer Nate Lucero checked on him, Maxwell stayed in the game. He didn’t realize the extent of the injury.  

“Not right away, not when I was running the bases,” Maxwell said. "But after a half inning on defense, I came and told the trainers, ‘My hand is broken.’”

Maxwell was removed from the game after the fourth inning. He is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Wednesday for the injury to his fifth metacarpal fistula. He’s never broken his left hand before, but he did suffer the same injury to his right hand when he was hit by a pitch while playing summer ball in college. He’s also broken his wrist a couple of times, so going through this in the past is helping him to keep his head up.  

“I’ve had things happen before – a bunch of surgeries,” Maxwell said. “The quicker you can be positive about it, the quicker it’s going to heal, so I’ve already started that process now.”

In 77 at-bats, Maxwell was hitting .234 with one home run and six RBIs.

“It was tough,” pitcher Bud Norris said. “Obviously, it’s not how you want it to go down. He’s part of this team, playing the staple in center field. We’re going to miss the bat in the lineup and the leader in the clubhouse, but I know he’s going to put his work in and get back out there when he can.”

“I was shocked. It sucks,” relief pitcher Hector Ambriz said. “A good guy like that – one of our team leaders, the way he plays the game hard. We’ll miss him.”

“He’s been outstanding,” Porter said. “He’s played tremendous defense, he’s gotten big hits, he is one of the vocal leaders on the ball club, so his absence will be greatly missed. But at the same time, we’re going to need other guys to step up and take advantage of the opportunity.”

Although Porter said they haven’t yet decided who will play regularly in center field, he did say right-handed Barnes, who replaced Maxwell in Tuesday’s game, will probably be in the lineup on Wednesday against Mariners’ left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders.

Outfielder Robbie Grossman was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace Maxwell on the active roster and will be ready to play on Wednesday. In 19 games for the RedHawks, the switch-hitter was hitting .324 with five RBI and 13 runs scored. It will be his Major League debut.

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