JUNE 30: Manager Joe Girardi told reporters after the game that Fowler’s injury comes with a recovery time of at least six months (via Hoch).
JUNE 29: In terrible news for the Yankees and one of their most promising young talents, the team announced that outfielder Dustin Fowler suffered an open rupture of the patella tendon in his right knee and will undergo surgery tonight in Chicago (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch).
Fowler, 22, sustained the injury when running full-speed into the right-field retaining wall in an effort to catch a foul ball off the bat of Jose Abreu in the bottom of the first inning (video available at MLB.com). He was carted off the field shortly thereafter.
Yankees fans have been waiting for months to get a look at Fowler following a terrific start to his season in Triple-A. Through 313 Triple-A plate appearances, Fowler hit .293/.329/.542 with 13 homers and 13 stolen bases. Unfortunately, tonight’s injury occurred before Fowler was even able to take his first big league plate appearance.
Eschewing the baseball perspective and viewing the injury through a human element lens, the injury is a terribly saddening occurrence for a 22-year-old that was merely minutes into realizing a lifelong dream. Hopefully, Fowler proves able to make a full recovery and rejoins the Yankees as a part of their future down the road.
From a strictly on-field perspective, New York has the outfield depth to weather the injury, though they’ll be short-handed for awhile with Aaron Hicks on the shelf for upwards of four weeks and Fowler down for the remainder of the season. The Yankees do have another of baseball’s top outfield prospects, Clint Frazier, not far off from Major League readiness in Triple-A, though it’s not clear when he’ll emerge as a candidate for a promotion of his own.