Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is headed for the disabled list for the first time in his career with a fracture of his right elbow.
Andrus was hit in the elbow by a 96.9 mph fastball thrown by Angels reliever Keynan Middleton in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Rangers’ 7-2 loss on Wednesday night.
He immediately left the game and initial X-rays at Globe Life Park showed a fracture. Andrus was fitted with a splint and will undergo more tests and a CT scan on Thursday. Those will determine the severity of the injury and if surgery will be needed.
Andrus is leading the Rangers in average (.327), hits (17) and walks (eight).
“It’s unfortunate, it’s terrible, I don’t have a big enough vocabulary to tell you how I feel,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “But I have a big enough vocabulary to tell you this is a group of guys who won’t lay down, but will fight through this.”
The injury likely means the Rangers will move Jurickson Profar to shortstop and call up a second baseman from Triple-A Round Rock. Hanser Alberto is the likely candidate, although he is not on the 40-man roster.
“We’ll figure out how to draw it up and go out and play,” Banister said. “You don’t replace guys like this. He is such a huge part of the lineup — defensively, leadership. In the interim, there is a toughness you have to have as a group, team and organization to maneuver through this. There is a mindset you have to have. That’s my job.”
Andrus was the fourth batter hit by a pitch in the game. Both catchers — Rene Rivera of the Angels and Robinson Chirinos — were hit earlier in the game. In the top of the ninth, Rangers reliever Tony Barnettehit Mike Trout with a pitch.
Banister was asked if he thought Andrus getting hit was in response to that.
“That’s a fair question, but I am not going to speculate on that,” Banister said.
Andrus is the third player from the Rangers’ Opening Day lineup to sustain an injury in the first two weeks of the season. Delino DeShields is on the disabled list because a broken hamate bone in his left hand and Rougned Odor is sidelined with a strained left hamstring.