Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis has been diagnosed with a fractured right hand, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports on Twitter. He suffered the injury in last night’s game; initially it was believed he had escaped any broken bones.
It’s not yet known how long Mathis is expected to miss, but this seems like a fairly significant injury. It’s an avulsion fracture, per Piecoro, meaning that the ligament pulled away some amount of bone. (That seemingly makes it all the more impressive that Mathis initially stayed in the game.)
Whether or not surgery is required, the veteran receiver figures to miss a decent stretch. With Arizona fighting to keep a hold on a Wild Card, while also looking ahead to a hoped-for postseason berth, the club will need to figure out how to fill in for Mathis.
It’s possible that the D-Backs will simply utilize the open roster spot to address some other area of need, as the club does carry three players capable of lining up behind the dish. Chris Herrmann has seen plenty of action at catcher while also playing first base and the corner outfield. Then again, he hasn’t hit nearly as much as he did last year, with a .158/.250/.321 batting line that falls shy of the work of even the light-hitting Mathis. Arizona also recently acquired John Ryan Murphy, though he has struggled to get his bat going at Triple-A this year.