Sean Rodriguez finally hit something Sunday night. Unfortunately, it was not a baseball that he struck – it was a locker.
Reports differ as to what exactly happened, whether or not Rodriguez punched the locker in frustration or if he was involved in an altercation with an unspecified teammate, but one thing is certain – Rodriguez sustained a fracture in his right hand. Even though the fracture appeared on an X-Ray of the hand, he is hoping that he will be able to play within a week, stating that he still has movement in the hand.
Once thought to be guaranteed of a September callup once rosters expand, Rodriguez may be in danger of missing out on more than another chance at major league action this season. Rodriguez had already been sent down to Durham due, in large part, to his .215/.278/.330 batting average, and his sub-standard defense across the infield. However, there was hope that he could provide value as a utility player, not just for September, but possibly beyond.
Rodriguez had already been bypassed by Ben Zobrist at shortstop, and the Rays have former first round pick Tim Beckham and prospect Hak-Ju Lee on the verge of reaching the major leagues. Given this incident, it may be that even Reid Brignac has gone ahead of Rodriguez in organizational esteem. As such, there may no longer be room for Rodriguez in Tampa. Punching a locker definitely is not the way to state one’s case for a roster spot.
Sean Rodriguez’s time in Tampa may have been running out due to future depth at shortstop. Fracturing his hand in such a way may have sped up the clock, as Rodriguez may have punched his ticket out of town.