ARLINGTON, Texas — Not having outfielder Jeff Baker in the lineup for Friday night’s game against Toronto left-hander Mark Buehrle looked strange
The reason Baker’s not in the lineup takes the weirdness to a new level.
Baker sprained his right thumb before Thursday’s game when he hurt it receiving a high-five from an overzealous teammate.
Baker’s thumb was sore enough Friday that he couldn’t grip a bat.
“I was giving my teammate a high five and the teammate was a little overexcited for whatever reason and bent my thumb back from my hand to my wrist,” Baker said. “I’m not too happy about it.”
Baker has swelling in the thumb but hasn’t had an MRI yet.
Losing Baker for any amount of time is a blow to a team that’s struggled to score, putting up just 36 runs this month.
He’s one of the best hitters against left-handers in baseball, batting .386 with eight home runs and 13 RBI. He leads the majors in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS vs. left-handers.
“When it rains it pours, right?” Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. “We’re a little banged up, scuffling a little bit and then you get a freak deal like that. We’ll push through the other stuff and I’m sure he’ll push through that as well.”