Despite hopes of a return before the season ends Sunday, Carter Kieboom’s hand injury proved too severe to take the chance, so the Nationals placed their rookie third baseman on the 10-day injured list this afternoon.
Kieboom officially has a left wrist contusion after getting hit by a pitch from Phillies right-hander Zack Wheeler during the sixth inning Monday night at Nationals Park. X-rays were negative, showing no fracture, but Kieboom’s hand was swollen and he immediately departed the game.
The Nationals hoped the swelling would go down and Kieboom would be able to return to play before the final series of the season this weekend. But by this afternoon, it was clear it wasn’t worth it.
With the team needing fresh arms in their taxed bullpen after playing eight games in five days, the club recalled Wil Crowe from their alternate training site in Fredericksburg to take Kieboom’s roster spot. The right-hander actually had been active Tuesday as the designated 29th man for the doubleheader, but he didn’t appear in either game.
Thus ends Kieboom’s disappointing season, one in which the organization’s top position-player prospect never seized the everyday third base job the Nationals hoped he would after Anthony Rendon departed via free agency.
In 122 plate appearances spread over 33 games, Kieboom hit .202 with a .344 on-base percentage and .556 OPS. He had only one extra-base hit (a double) and never homered.
Kieboom did prove better than expected in the field, especially when considering his lack of experience at third base. He finished with 5 Defensive Runs Saved, according to Sports Info Solutions, which ranked fourth among all big league third basemen, behind Nolan Arenado (15), Manny Machado (7) and Isiah Kiner-Falefa (6).