San Diego Padres catcher Austin Nola has broken his middle finger on his left hand and could miss the start of the season, manager Jayce Tingler told reporters on Sunday.
Nola suffered the injury in Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks when she was fouled. After the game, he was in severe pain, which led to the discovery of the fracture.
The Padres have not set an immediate schedule for when Nola will return.
“We have to wait and see how he reacts,” said Tingler. “Will he be ready for opening day? I don’t know. I know he’s extremely tough. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s ready sooner rather than later, but we won’t know much until he gets a treat on it . “
The 31-year-old Nola is expected to do most of the fishing for the Padres this season.
Acquired by the Seattle Mariners on August 31, he impressed the club with his defense and the way he quickly connected with the pitching team.
Nola fought in 19 games with the Padres with two homers and nine RBIs against just .222. Before the deal, he struck. 306 with five homers and 19 RBIs in 29 games for the Mariners.
Victor Caratini and Luis Campusano are San Diego’s top options if Nola is out.
Caratini was acquired by the Chicago Cubs in the same off-season deal that the Padres acquired right-handed Yu Darvish. The 27-year-old faced .241 in 44 games with a homer and 16 RBIs last season, his fourth with the Cubs.
The 22-year-old Campusano is a highly respected candidate who played in a major league game last season. He went 3-1 with a homer, scored twice and struck twice.
“We have great confidence in our catcher,” said Tingler. “Should be a good time for these guys to really find the rhythm and timing and get started.”
The Padres open the season at home on April 1st against the Diamondbacks.
– Field level media