Significant breaking news within the National League West as the rival San Francisco Giants have lost their ace, Madison Bumgarner, to a fractured pitching hand.
Bumgarner, originally scheduled to pitch for the Giants on Opening Day against our Dodgers on March 29th opposite of Clayton Kershaw, will instead have surgery on his pitching hand. Pins inserted into the hand should be removed in about 4-6 weeks, with an expected total recovery time of 6-8 weeks.
Bumgarner suffered the injury in the third inning of today’s game between the Giants and the Royals when Whit Merrifield hit a line drive off the southpaw’s hand. Bumgarner immediately called for a trainer to come over. X-Rays revealed a break in the hurler’s pinky per Andrew Baggerly of The Athletic.
Bumgarner is not the only significant loss for the in-division foes. The Giants also learned on Thursday that Jeff Samardzija will miss an unspecified amount of time with a torn pectoral muscle.
With 40% of their expected starting rotation down, the Giants are already facing an early uphill battle in a National League West division that they finished in last place in last season.
Bumgarner’s absence may have a significant impact on the early season matchups between the Dodgers and Giants: the two teams are scheduled to play each other 10 times over the first 33 days of the regular season.