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Difo fractures hand during first career start

Oct 4, 2015, 9:54 AM EDT

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NEW YORK — Wilmer Difo fractured a bone in his hand diving into first base Saturday night, an unfortunate and abrupt end to the rookie’s first career start for the Nationals.

Difo suffered a fracture of the fourth metacarpal bone in his left hand, the club announced following Saturday’s 2-0 victory over the Mets. Recovery time for that type of injury is typically 6-to-8 weeks, which shouldn’t disrupt Difo’s offseason program much.

The injury occurred in the top of the third inning at Citi Field, as Difo tried to beat out a grounder to first base. With the Mets’ Michael Cuddyer tossing the ball to a hard-charging Matt Harvey, Difo dove headfirst into the base, slamming his left hand into the side of the bag. Umpire Jim Wolf initially ruled out on the play, but the Nationals challenged the call and won on appeal after review officials in nearby Manhattan overturned it into a single, the Nats’ first hit off Harvey.

Difo remained in the game to run the bases, but when the bottom of the third arrived, Dan Uggla took his position at second base.

This was Difo’s first career start in the big leagues and only his second appearance in the field. He had appeared in 13 previous games as a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner.

The 23-year-old infielder finished with two hits in 11 at-bats, scoring one run and striking out twice. He hit a combined .286 with five homers, 53 RBI, 30 stolen bases and a .325 on-base percentage in 106 minor-league games between Class A Potomac and Class AA Harrisburg.

  1. chiefwj - Oct 4, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    I love his hustle, but another reason why you should [almost] never dive into first base instead of running through it. Didn’t look like Harvey was going to tag him if he kept running.

  2. nejelski2013 - Oct 4, 2015 at 10:40 AM

    Difo was scheduled to be one of Nats rep at the Arizona Fall League. Will he be able to do that

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Oct 4, 2015 at 10:12 PM

      Not with a broken hand he won’t.

      Sucks.

  3. mrnat7 - Oct 4, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    When will players ever learn? Zimmerman, Harper and now Difo! The only time to go head first is attempted pick-offs at first base. If you can get to first faster by diving, then why doesn’t a sprinter dive across the finish line. I know it may hurt but it would be worth the pain to win a gold metal.

  4. natsfan1a - Oct 4, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    Crud. Was hoping that wasn’t the case. After he came out of the game, it made me think of the time when we kept calling up catchers, and they kept getting hurt (okay, I’m pretty sure it was “just” two catchers, but still).

  5. Sonny G 10 - Oct 4, 2015 at 1:22 PM

    What a shame that happened to Difo. I hope he does not prove to be injury prone. We have enough of those types already.

  6. sunshinebobby - Oct 4, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    If there was ever a player born to be a Nat, it’s Difo.

  7. janebeard - Oct 4, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    Oh, honey. I am so, so sorry this happened.

  8. Mike Gallagher - Oct 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Dude. Welcome to the Nats, you’re gonna fit right in.

  9. ehay2k - Oct 5, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    I am just waiting to hear, in a few days, that he actually broke his leg. /snark

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