Less than a week after making his MLB debut, Blue Jays rookie outfielder Anthony Alford has been dealt a major setback. Alford, 22, was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a fractured hamate bone in his left wrist. As Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith first reported, he’s expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks.
Alford was recalled from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday, and he had endured a rough 1-for-8 start to his big-league career. With Jose Bautista and Chris Coghlan seeing action at third base as Josh Donaldson works his way back from a calf injury, there was playing time available for the intriguing rookie, and he had started two games in left field since being recalled, pinch hitting in two more.
Alford is ranked as the Blue Jays’ top outfield prospect by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. While he probably wouldn’t have remained in the majors for long with Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki close to returning from injuries, this is still frustrating news for the Blue Jays, as it will delay Alford’s development for at least a few weeks.
To replace Alford on the roster, the Blue Jays recalled outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., who made his big-league debut last week but was sent down when pitcher Cesar Valdez was recalled.