Friday, March 15, 2013
Mustelier injured, leaves game
By Wallace Matthews
Ronnier Mustelier had to be helped off the field on Friday afternoon.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees rookie Ronnier Mustelier, who has attracted the interest of the manager with his live bat and hustle, was victimized by his own all-out style of play when he ran full speed into the railing around the photographers' well chasing a foul pop in the fourth inning of Friday's game and had to be helped off the field.
There was no immediate word on Mustelier's condition but he appeared to have had the wind knocked out of him as he crashed into the padded steel railing. He lay flat on his back for more than a minute as Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue hurried out to him. Both men helped him to his feet and supported him as he left the field. The Yankees later announced he had "multiple contusions" to both legs and would be evaluated further.
Mustelier, a Cuban emigre who put up good hitting numbers in Triple-A last season, was hitting .292 with a home run and two RBIs this spring, but had caught Girardi's eye with not only his bat, but his versatility. He had seen action at third base and the outfield, and with the injuries to Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, was being given a long look as a possible backup at both third base and the outfield, at least for the early portion of the season.
In the first inning, Mustelier had started a key double play with a bare-hand grab of a slow roller off the bat of Austin Kearns, and had shown quickness in the second, fielding a bunt by Gorkys Hernandez, who barely beat the throw to first.
Mustelier was injured chasing a foul pop into the stands hit by Juan Pierre with two out in the fourth.