If losing to your division foe on Memorial Day wasn’t hard enough, losing two key players from your lineup in one day certainly is.
The Indians placed first baseman Nick Swisher and third baseman/catcher Carlos Santana on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday afternoon. According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Swisher was “…placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hyper-extended left knee that he injured Monday against the White Sox. Santana was placed on the seven-day DL for a concussion. He was hit in the mask by a foul tip Sunday in Baltimore.”
To make room for the injured veterans, they’ve recalled Jesus Aguilar and purchased the contract of George Kottaras from Columbus. Blake Wood, who made the opening day roster but faltered in his short stint, was designated for assignment to make room for Kottaras on the 40-man roster.
Swisher said he felt pain when he hit first base on a groundout in the sixth inning. He remained in the game defensively, despite limping around, until David Murphy pinch-hit for him in the eighth.
A hyperextended knee is an injury in which the knee is forced beyond its normal fully straightened position. When the knee is straight, it is said to be extended. Extension is when the angle between the thigh bone and the shin bone is 0 degrees. “Hyperextention” is when the knee continues to bend a few more degrees on from this straight position. This position forces the lower leg excessivley forward in relation to the upper leg. In this particular instance with Swisher, the knee was forced beyond its normal position as his left leg landed on first base on the ground out. The good news for Swisher and the Indians is that there was no structural damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and should be fully healthy after the 15 days is up.
As for Santana, this will be the second time of his career that he has landed on the DL due to a concussion suffered as a result of a foul-tip to the face mask. The question now becomes: How much longer should the Indians stick with Santana behind the plate?
Before the injury, Santana jokingly gestured into the Indians dugout after the first pitch of the game was fouled off his right leg. He held up his index finger to indicate the irony of getting hit with the first batted ball of the day.