gods-wrathThere’s not a lot to this story just yet, so I’m going to do my best to remain as un-emo as possible.

But big-time Chicago Cubs prospect Albert Almora – the team’s top pick in 2012, and a consensus top 100 prospect in baseball – just tweeted this:

We’ll probably get more details in the coming days on how it happened, how bad it is, and his prognosis (though don’t necessarily expect a ton of details, because teams are frequently quiet about minor league injuries), but your early reaction is probably to freak out, given that the hamate bone is in the wrist.


Step back. The hamate bone injury, while never a good thing, has become increasingly treatable in recent years, and the success stories – by which I mean guys who came back within a couple months and performed just as well as they had before the injury – are many. Yes, sometimes wrist issues linger for years. But that isn’t always the case.

For now, let’s be calm and await the details.

If you want a super small sample size to help you sleep tonight, here’s Nick Markakis’ line after returning from a hamate injury last year (he missed a touch over a month): .335/.390/.489.

  • BT

    Umm. Rats.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    And in the silver lining department, this could be an opportunity for Trey Martin to establish himself in Kane County. With Almora out of the picture at the start of the year, Martin is likely to pick up most of the starts in center.

    Don’t be surprised to see Dunston get a look at Kane County earlier than otherwise expected either.

  • Hansman1982

    As I said in the other thread, Sandoval has broken (and had removed) both of his hamate bones. Not the end of the world as Almora knows it.

  • willis

    It never ends…

    • dash

      Yeah… just once it’d be nice to see SOME other team besides the Cubs have to deal with an injury.

      • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

        The Yankees say hey.

        • Hansman1982

          And the cardinals pitching staff.

  • MikeCubs23

    I love being a Cubs fan.

  • fromthemitten

    If he broke it tripping over a playstation like Pawelek I’m going to cry

  • db kyle

    Someone on another board mentioned that this might have been the original problem Hee Seop Choi had with his wrist that ended up bothering him his whole career, but I don’t remember it being this specific injury.

    I was trying to google it and came up with this article, which is unrelated but made me laugh:

    • Dustin S

      Almora should be fine, missing 4-6 weeks right now isn’t end of the world. The recovery record from it looks like it has been very good in recent years.

      On a more positive note, the Cubs games Friday through Sunday this weekend are televised (at least 1 game for the ss days). I’m giddy about 3 days in a row of Cubs baseball on tv. Temps are also creeping up to the balmy low 50s here in Illinois, it won’t be long…

      • jt

        Notable cases or removal:

        Jose Canseco, Oakland Athletics outfielder (1989)
        Ken Griffey, Jr., Seattle Mariners outfielder (1996)
        Jim Thome, Cleveland Indians first baseman (1996)
        Eric Hinske, Atlanta Braves first baseman (2003)
        Ryan Kalish, Boston Red Sox outfielder (2007)
        Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox second baseman (2007)[7]
        Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies shortstop (2010)
        Domonic Brown, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder (2011)
        Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants third baseman (2011, right; 2012, left)[8]
        Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles outfielder (2012)[9]

        • terencem

          I see you all went straight to google, too? That list definitely made me breathe a sigh of relief.

    • Jp3

      Wow, there are so many quotable comments in that article I can’t keep track…. Kelton, Choi, Corey Patterson and Zambrano being the future of the Cubs is my favorite. Also I KNOW its not the sAme injury BUT anyone heard of Vitters being the most polished hitter coming out of high school “can’t miss” prospect then BOOM! Wrist injury…

  • Rich H

    I just keep thinking back to when Griffey Jr broke his. He was never the same afterwords.

    But on the bright side he is just a A guy no matter what people thought about him. All this does is lengthen his time table to 2015. Where it probably should have been to begin with.

    • db kyle
      • DocPeterWimsey

        If I remember my human anatomy correctly (it’s been 25 years, but we probably haven’t evolved too much), there are 8 true “wrist” bones, of which the hamate is one. “Broken wrists” thus vary immensely in terms of which bones are broken and how many. The really bad breaks get multiple bones and displace bones badly: those are the ones that require a lot of work to heal.

        Jose Canseco missed the first half of 1989 due to a broken hamate, but I am pretty sure that the surgery has come a long way since then. At that time, people were pointing out that this could have been career threatening 25 years earlier!

    • Van

      Griffey broke his in 1996. He was out about 3 weeks. He then went on to lead the league in HR for three years to follow, posting a .291/.377/.611 slash line over those seasons. A litany of injuries would ultimately slow him down, but the hamate fracture wasn’t one of them.

      • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

        Even a doctor doesn’t know how meaningful this injury will be to the kid so why all the guesswork here. I can still remember when lee broke his wrist and some nut was saying he was only going to be out a week. Even an idiot knew that wasn’t true yet there it was on the cubs board.

        • db kyle

          We can’t “know,” but we can look at historical precedents. Not every broken bone in the wrist is the same.

        • Van

          Lee suffered distal fractures to the ulna and radius. Those tend to take much longer to heal than hamate fractures (mostly because the hamate is a small bone is often simply removed).

      • Rich H

        Isn’t it funny how a mind works. I was thinking that was the beginning of the end for Griffey but you were right. It seems my mind just thought that was when it started.

  • Believe in 2015

    Lake, Garza, Almora….anyone else? Cubs need to catch a break or two (no pun intended)

  • -mp

    The hamate break/fracture is a tricky thing. To avoid surgery I spent 22 weeks in a cast. The orthopedic told me that anything shorter would subject the bone to more incidence of fracture/breaking. The other options were a pin or removal. If it isn’t taken care of correctly can be an constantly aggravating issue.

    • Spriggs

      George Carlin used to note in one of his routines: “Somewhere in America, there exists – the worst doctor in the country. The scary thing is, he is probably all booked up for next Monday!” Well, it looks like we may have just found that doctor.

    • scorecardpaul

      -mp, I think a major league ball player is in a completely different situation than you were probably in. They should be able to take care of this pretty easily??

      • DocPeterWimsey

        That can depend on the team. I think that sports teams have gotten a lot better, but they used to rely on “meatball surgeons” who would err on the side of a diagnosis that should get the player back on the field as quickly as possible. The players then were blamed for not being able to come back when misdiagnosed!

  • Rich

    Another component that missed is the
    Corresponding soft tissue issues and carpal bone misalignments
    An ortho is looking to fix the bone
    Fine this is a young kid and if it is a simple
    Fracture shouldn’t be a problem
    If the other bones and tissues specifically ligaments are misaligned then problems can linger

    To make sure after the bone heals very important to get mobilization of all the carpal bones
    Chiropractic adjustment to the wrist will improve range
    Of motion while affecting soft tissue scar tissue removal

    Been working on wrists for years with tremendous success

  • Rich

    With trauma there is always either repetitive traumas like
    continuing to grip and swing a baseball or a larger trauma like getting hit with a baseball.
    Tissues and joints get affected
    mobility allows for nerve and blood flow for optimal healing

    Really not a large concern for his injury
    Injuries linger as they don’t heal properly
    By only using pain meds or injections then pt which misses a component
    People don’t heal correctly and turns into chronic pain
    Which sadly is treated with more drugs

  • Larry Bittner

    I hate that goat—Santo, pray for us

    • Spriggs

      You spelled Biittner wrong, Larry.

  • Die hard

    If they are smart they will tell him now that to avoid any scenario of him trying to rush back that its not going to happen because he has been put on DL for entire season….. If they aren’t this careful with a future starter then there is no hope for this team

    • Edwin

      These are truly dire times.

  • Drew

    What was Ian Stewart’s “wrist injury”?

    • Spriggs

      He had something called “Iblowsoi’llsayitsmywristfornow”

      • Can’t think of a cool name

        Best response ever!

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  • Teddy Ballgame

    Maybe we need to change this “God’s wrath” thing we have goin here. We’re definitely pulling a “Chip Caray” (biggest jinx in superstition history) on ourselves. Anyone who defends Chip deserves a virtual b*tch slap!!!

  • MightyBear

    Too late. I’m freaking out.

  • David Carrithers

    Sad to see/hear of this injury. Even worse, there is a simple solution that the 135 year old bat industry wants everyone to look the other way on. This is a simple and great solution to broken hamate bones:


    Get the word out and lets end broken hamate bones in baseball forever!

    • TWC

      Hey, Spammer! Welcome to BN. How much do you make per bat?