Yankees outfielder Jose Tabata will miss the remainder of the season after surgery to remove the hamate bone in his right wrist.
The injury has bothered the 19-year-old outfielder since playing in the Venezuelan Winter League, and he’s seen five different hand specialists over the past year to get a proper diagnosis.
“It’s a six-week rehab and he’s going to be fine,” Yankees senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman said. “He tried to play through it and he shouldn’t. He’s had problems with it on an off for a while and it really bothered him on a swing. We got him in for an MRI that revealed the damage.”
Tabata has gone through various stints on the disabled list at high Class A Tampa this season, where he batted .307/.371/.392 in 411 at-bats. Hitting for average was no problem for the Venezuelan teenager who signed for $550,000 in 2005 and has drawn comparisons to Manny Ramirez.
But the lack of power has clearly been an issue—Tabata hit just 16 doubles and five home runs in the Florida State League. He is slated to have the surgery next week in Tampa.
“We’re waiting to see how this goes,” Newman said. “Playing in winter ball is a secondary priority right now. This procedure has been done many, many times and we’re hopeful he’ll be set to begin rehabbing soon.”
Double Jeopardy: The Yankees got hit with more bad news recently when righthander Chris Garcia sustained a knee injury and needed surgery.
Garcia, a third-round pick out of a Miami high school in 2004, was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery at the time of the injury and isn’t expected to begin rehabbing again until November.
“He was doing some running as part of his rehab from (Tommy John),” Newman said. “As fate would have it, this happened. It’s like serving a concurrent sentence for a criminal. We expect him to be ready to go in the spring.”