With his Giants already mired at the bottom of the NL West, Madison Bumgarner went and got himself hurt on his off-day in Colorado. A dirt bike accident has apparently left the left-handed ace with bruised ribs and, more importantly, a sprained left shoulder. According to Ken Rosenthal, he could be out for 6-8 weeks, dealing serious damage to the Giants’ hopes of bouncing back from their slow start.
The injury is especially disappointing because, frankly, riding a dirt bike seems like a particularly hazardous thing for a player, especially one as integral to his club’s success as Bumgarner, to do. MLB contracts typically have clauses in them that would forbid players from engaging in dangerous activities that could lead to the kind of injury that sent Bumgarner to the hospital. Obviously, the Giants won’t be taking the opportunity to void the contract of their ace, who is under team control for another two years, but they could. And the existence of such clauses highlight how dumb it was for Bumgarner to jeopardize his own health and his team’s chances, and how much he has let down the Giants and their fans with his recklessness.
Bumgarner has lost three of his first four starts this year, but has a strong 3.00 ERA and 28 strikeouts and only four walks in 27 innings. He was scheduled to start on Tuesday against Clayton Kershaw. While we don’t know yet who will get his spot in the rotation, the drop off will be precipitous both on the mound and at the plate. Meanwhile, we can add Bumgarner to the ever-amazing list of weird injuries that seem to only befall baseball players.