Emilio Bonifacio Injury: MLB Steals Leader on DL with Sprained Left Thumb

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIMay 21, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MAY 15: Emilio Bonifacio #1 of the Miami Marlins hits a triple during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Marlins Park on May 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

On Sunday morning, the Miami Marlins placed MLB stolen base leader Emilio Bonificio on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.

The injury seems to be about the only thing that's been able to slow Bonifacio down, as he currently paces the league with 20 steals.

The DL stint—the first of Bonifacio's career—is retroactive to Saturday, so the earliest he'd be allowed to return would be June 3.

Chris Coghlan and Donovan Solano were promoted to the majors in corresponding moves.

The decision to send Bonifacio to the DL came just one day after an MRI revealed that there was no fracture in the left thumb, which he jammed while trying to swipe second base on Friday night.

That stolen base attempt marked the first time this season that he was caught stealing, and it was also the first time he was caught in 21 attempts, a Marlins team record.

On the season, Bonifacio was hitting just .268, but his OBP of .351 makes up for the pedestrian average.

Bonifacio seems confident that he won't need more time to recover, which is a great sign for Miami (via Frisaro): "They are being careful, they don't want it to be worse. They just want to make sure."

Austin Kearns will likely start in left field in Bonifacio's absence, just as he did during Monday's 7-4 win over the Colorado Rockies.