Cincinnati Reds outfielder Marlon Byrd fractured his wrist last night after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning of a 5-4 loss to the Phillies, the team announced after the game:
Marlon Byrd has a fractured wrist after being hit by a pitch tonight. #Reds— #VoteReds (@Reds) June 3, 2015
The move will almost certainly land the 37-year-old, who is in his first season with Cincinnati, on the disabled list.
What will the Reds be missing without Byrd?
Byrd was having a solid, if unspectacular debut season in Cincinnati, hitting .212/.286/.442 with 10 home runs, putting him behind only Todd Frazier among Reds in homers, all adding up to a wRC+ of 98, fifth among qualified Reds.
He also was providing consistency in the lineup, starting 44 of the team's 50 games in left field and batting either fifth or sixth in 31 of his 45 starts (one as a DH) this season.
Who will replace Byrd?
Veteran utility man Skip Schumaker, a left-handed hitter, started in left field in five of the six games Byrd did not this year. Schumaker has 60 at bats so far this season, hitting .233/.281/.350.
For a right-handed option, the Reds have Brennan Boesch, who entered the game after Byrd was injured last night, hitting .143/.200/.167 in just 42 at bats in 2015. Despite his slow start this season, Boesch has a decent track record at the plate in his career and is likely a better defensive option than Schumaker, who has primarily been a second baseman throughout his career.
As for who will take Byrd's roster spot, the Reds are expected to call up infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. from Triple-A Louisville, according to Jamie Ramsey, the team's assistant media relations director:
The #Reds are expected today to purchase the contract from AAA-Louisville of Infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. A corresponding roster move TBD— Jamie Ramsey (@Jamieblog) June 3, 2015
While the corresponding move is listed by Ramsey as TBD, logic dictates that it will be Byrd being placed on the disabled list.
DeJesus hit .205/.253/.247 in 80 major league plate appearances with the Dodgers and Red Sox in 2011 and 2012 and was hitting .303/.378/.384 in Louisville this season. He has played mostly shortstop and second base in his professional career, indicating the Reds plan to give Schumaker more time in the outfield.