During Thursday’s rain-postponed game against the Chicago White Sox, 22-year-old Dustin Fowler took the field in his first major-league contest for the New York Yankees, but after a defensive play at the wall ruptured the rookie’s patellar tendon, his debut was cut short.
“I was in tears, because I know what it takes to get here, and how hard he’s worked,” Joe Girardi told Mike Mazzeo of the New York Daily News following the game.
“I’m still in disbelief,” the Yankees manager continued. “It doesn’t seem fair that that’s what happened.”
After crashing into the wall and going half into the stands, it was discovered that Fowler suffered an open rupture of the right patella tendon. He is expected to miss at least six months after undergoing surgery Thursday night.
“I’ve seen what happens when you hit half walls,” the Yankees skipper said when asked about the layout of Guaranteed Rate Field. “I know it’s how the stadium was designed, but I think it’s something baseball needs to address.”
In 70 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Fowler was posting a .293/.329/.542 slash line with 13 homers and 13 stolen bases.
“I was sick to my stomach,” fellow outfielder Aaron Judge added.
“He works his ass off, he’s a strong kid and he’s got a great head on his shoulders,” Brett Gardner – the longest-tenured Yankees outfielder – continued. “He’s a damn good player and he continues to improve and I was looking forward to get a chance to play with him and just help him out along the way.”