On consecutive plays in the fourth inning, D-Backs shortstop Stephen Drew, the anchor of the infield defense, was lost for the season when he fractured his ankle sliding into home plate. On the very next play, Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez was lost for possibly up to two months when he fractured his collarbone making a diving catch on a Ryan Roberts short fly ball.
While Gomez’ injury is certainly devastating to the Brewers’ chances in the tight NL Central race, Drew’s injury is even more so for the D-Backs’ hopes for a playoff spot in October.
Drew was hitting .252 with 5 five home runs and 45 runs batted in at the time of his injury, but more importantly, his stellar defense (only seven errors in 345 total chances) has been a key component for the D-Backs since Drew’s arrival midway through the 2006 season.
A career .270 hitter, Drew’s presence in the D-Backs lineup will be sorely missed, especially by manager Kirk Gibson.
“We know how important Stephen is but if you have been around the game for a while it happens,” Gibson told Bob Baum of the Associated Press. “It is fairly common that you are going to lose star players. You hope it doesn’t happen to you. We now know what the Giants are feeling (with their loss of Buster Posey. We are in a similar situation and we need to find a way to get through it. Nothing we can do about it. We wish him well just hope he has a good recovery and he resumes his career next year.”
So how can the D-Backs overcome the injury to Drew?
Here are five possible replacements.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.