Magglio Ordonez fractured his right ankle on the pictured slide Saturday and was almost immediately reported to be out six to eight weeks.
This had ramifications immediate and long term. For the here and now, the Detroit Tigers have lost their usual No. 3 hitter, and they've had enough trouble scoring runs with him in the lineup. It also means he's highly unlikely to meet the at-bat requirements to get his contract extension to kick in, potentially allowing the Tigers to get out from under his heavy salary this winter.
The Tigers have already lost Brandon Inge to a fractured hand; the third baseman is also out six to eight weeks. And Carlos Guillen, their current second baseman, left Saturday's game with a pulled leg muscle. In Guillen's case, an injury is hardly a surprise, but that doesn't make it any less a problem.
The Twins have injury/roster issues of their own. Orlando Hudson probably would be on the disabled list already if they had an easy move to make. But they don't:
- Justin Morneau has reportedly begun some workouts, but still has hurdles to clear before returning from his concussion. LaVelle Neal speculates Aug. 2 for Morneau, but even that might be optimistic.
- Matt Tolbert isn't able to throw yet.
- Brendan Harris — who has reportedly started to hit down at Triple A — is no longer on the 40-man roster, and the easy ways to open a slot on the 40 are gone.
- Luke Hughes, who is on the 40, is out with his own injury.
- Trevor Plouffe has limited experience at any position other than shortstop.
- Even Alexi Casilla, who has gotten the playing time at second since Hudson's injury, is hampered. A note in the Pioneer Press when he was activated off the DL said he still has "minor discomfort" when swinging the bat right-handed (which may have played into his eighth-inning bunt on Friday against a lefty reliever).
Upshot: If Hudson goes on the DL today, it may be for a 13th pitcher.
Poll results: 30 responses to the "who'll win the AL Central" poll. Twenty-one (70 percent) picked the Twins, seven (23 percent) picked the White Sox) and two (7 percent) the Tigers.
New poll up.