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Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz exited Thursday’s game against the Colorado Rockies after suffering an apparent hand injury, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reported.
A pitch from Rockies starter Kyle Freeland hit Cruz in the bottom of the third inning, and Boog Powell replaced him in the fifth. Mariners manager Scott Servais discussed Cruz’s status after the game:
Cruz hit 40-plus home runs for the third year in a row in 2016, finishing with 43 homers, 105 RBI and a .287/.360/.555 slash line.
Durability has also been a hallmark for the 36-year-old. He appeared in 150-plus games four times between 2012 and 2016.
Earlier in the week, Cruz experienced right calf tightness that forced him to leave Seattle’s 10-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on May 30. Combine that with his most recent ailment, and some may begin worrying injuries will become a bigger issue for the right-handed slugger.
The concern for the Mariners will be how much Cruz’s absence hurts their already dwindling playoff hopes. Following a lackluster start to the season, Seattle only has a 20.8 percent chance of reaching the postseason, according to Baseball Prospectus.
Should Cruz be forced to miss a prolonged stretch of time, those odds will likely fall even further.