New York Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda made his first start of the season this evening, against the Boston Red Sox, but it would prove to be a short outing. The right-hander was forced to leave the game early in the second inning after taking a line drive off his hand. It’s expected that he’ll undergo further evaluation and testing, including X-rays, as soon as time permits.
Shane Victorino led off the inning with a sharp liner back up the middle. Kuroda reached up, instinctively, to make a play on the ball but it ricocheted off his hand and into center field. Manager Joe Girardi and Head Trainer Steve Donohue came out to the mound to check on Kuroda, but after a few warmup pitches they felt he was ok to continue.
Things then unraveled as Kuroda was unable to maintain his command of his pitches.
First Jackie Bradley Jr. was hit by a pitch. Jose Iglesias grounded into a fielder’s choice, as the Yankees managed to get Victorino out at third. Jacoby Ellsbury then walked, loading the bases. Daniel Nava was subsequently hit by a pitch, forcing Bradley in with a run. Kuroda was ultimately removed from the game at this point, replaced by Cody Eppley.
Kuroda, penciled in as the Yankees’ #2 starter, will hopefully not miss any significant time. The team is calling his injury just a simple bruised finger, but they clearly removed him from the game for precautionary reasons. For an organization already suffering from an abundance of injuries, there has to be hope that Kuroda won’t need to join the collection of players already on the DL.