Just one day after losing outfielder Michael Saunders to the DL with a right shoulder sprain, fellow Mariners outfielder Mike Morse was forced to leave the game early after being hit by a pitch. Morse was later diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the fifth (pinkie) finger of his right hand.
As painful as the injury was for Morse and the Mariners to absorb, it is not nearly as serious as it could have been. The non-displaced (bony ends in alignment) nature of the fracture and its location indicate it will not need to be surgically addressed. Given that the injury is to the pinkie finger in Morse's top hand when he bats, it is far less compromising than if it were to the bottom hand, where it plays a greater role in controlling the swing.
There will be pain and swelling for Morse to contend with and the treatment goal for the next few days will be focused on alleviating both. But manager Eric Wedge's prediction that Morse could return within three to seven days is not out of the question. While a Sunday return seems optimistic, once Morse can grip the bat comfortably enough to swing effectively he can return, making a timetable of a week or less realistic. Athletic training staffs are gifted when it comes to crafting custom padding and cushion to afford hitters some measure of protection and comfort without altering their swings. When the finger is one whose grip is less essential to control of the bat, that task is made a bit easier.
It does not appear that Morse will require a trip to the DL and the hope is that when he returns he can essentially pick up where he left off, powering the ball out of the park on a regular basis. The question is whether the forced interruption will impact his rhythm as much as, or perhaps more than, the injury itself.