The Red Sox have placed infielder Yu Chang on the 10-day injured list due to a left hamate fracture, the club announced earlier Tuesday afternoon. In a corresponding move, infielder/outfielder Enmanuel Valdez was recalled from Triple-A Worcester.
Chang suffered the fracture in the seventh inning of Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Orioles in Baltimore. After swinging and missing on a 1-1, 80.3 mph slider from reliever Bryan Baker, the 27-year-old could be seen wincing in pain, which prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora and assistant athletic trainer David Herrera to emerge from the visitor’s dugout.
After a brief conference in which his left hand was examined, Chang was removed from the game and replaced by Christian Arroyo, who struck out in his place. Arroyo then took over at second base while Enrique Hernandez slid over from second to shortstop for the final two innings of the contest.
Chang was later diagnosed with “left wrist pain” and underwent further testing in Baltimore on Tuesday. Cora and Co. were hopeful that Chang had avoided injuring his hamate bone (a hook-like structure that forms part of the wrist joint) but that is indeed what happened. He will now undergo surgery on Thursday and will be sidelined for approximately six weeks.
Signed to a one-year, $850,000 deal in February, Chang was brought in to serve as a reserve outfielder on account of his versatility. After Adam Duvall fractured his left wrist on April 9, though, Chang has seen his playing time at shortstop increase as a result of Hernandez logging more innings in center field. Coming into play on Tuesday, Chang had started five straight and 10 of the last 12 games at shortstop for Boston.
Listed at 6-foo-1 and 180 pounds, Chang has been worth three outs above average across 91 innings at shortstop, 18 innings at second base, and two innings at third base. That currently ranks in the 93rd percentile of all big-leaguers, per Baseball Savant.
On the other side of the ball, the right-handed hitting Chang has batted .136/.174/.341 with three home runs, eight RBIs, five runs scored, one stolen base, one walk, and 12 strikeouts in 17 games (47 plate appearances) so far this season. All three of those homers have come within the last 10 days.
Valdez, meanwhile, made his major-league debut at Fenway Park last Wednesday. The 24-year-old went 2-for-4 with a pair of opposite-field singles and a strikeout in a 10-4 loss to the Twins. He also committed a fielding error at second base and spent just one day on the active roster while Chang was out on paternity leave.
Acquired from the Astros alongside outfield prospect Wilyer Abreu in last Augusts’s Christian Vazquez trade, Valdez — a Dominican Republic native — is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system. The left-handed hitter is not in Tuesday’s starting lineup.
(Picture of Yu Chang: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)