Diamondbacks Rule 5 pick Oscar Hernandez has suffered a broken hamate bone in his left hand, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweets. Hernandez had seemed on track to open the year as the club’s backup catcher behind presumptive starter Tuffy Gosewisch.
As a Rule 5 pick, Hernandez can still be kept under team control if he is added to the DL and kept on the 40-man roster. In some ways, this could actually make it easier for the team to hold on to him, as it reduces the amount of time that Arizona will be required to carry him on the big league roster. The club will also get a chance to see Hernandez in a rehab assignment, and have a chance to evaluate its big league club, before deciding whether to return him to the Rays.
The injury certainly opens a big league roster spot to start the season, though the D’Backs could simply elect to give the reserve job to one of the veterans it has in camp. Gerald Laird, Matt Pagnozzi, and Blake Lalli each have spent time in the big leagues, with Laird in particular having an extensive track record at the game’s highest level.