ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jerry Hairston Jr. walked through the visitors clubhouse at Angels Stadium Wednesday evening with his right wrist wrapped and a mediocre prognosis. The wrist suffered a small break when Hairston was hit with a 91 mph two-seam fastball from Dan Haren in the fifth inning.
Hairston said he plans to see the Nationals team doctor on Thursday’s offday in D.C. and go from there. The veteran utility man was adamant that he wanted to avoid the disabled list if at all possible.
“Only good thing is it’s my top hand,” Hairston said. “Bottom hand, there’s no way to swing the bat, but we’ll see if I can do it. Maybe it’s one of those things where I can tape it up really good.
“Without question (I want to try) to avoid the DL and I’ll see what I can do. If I can play with it, if it’s one of those things where you just have to tolerate the pain, I’m going to definitely try and just go from there.”
The break, Hairston said, is right where the wrist meets the base of his hand. When he was first hit, it was clear he was in considerable pain. He required assistance from the Nationals training staff just to get down the dugout stairs.
“I thought for sure it was broken,” said Nationals manager Davey Johnson.
Hairston, one of the Nationals most versatile players, was clearly upset by the outcome and noted that his inability to see the ball because of significant shadows certainly played a part.
“You’ve got big league pitchers on the mound and it’s just, they’re good enough,” Hairston. “The 4 o’clock start is just terrible. You can’t see the ball and… somebody’s going to get really, really hurt. He could have hit my head.
“(It was) really difficult to pick up the ball so it’s going to take something serious to change. I’ve got a broken wrist. It could have been way worse. What if he hit me in the face? It’s just terrible. It’s irresponsible. Maybe they think they draw another 5,000 or so, I don’t know, it’s just terrible. The pitchers at this level are too good.”