Royals' Bale diagnosed with broken hand after punching door
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star CLEVELAND | Royals left-hander John Bale won’t be returning to active duty any time soon after breaking his pitching hand Friday night by punching a door at the team’s downtown hotel.
Bale apparently was frustrated by his slow recovery from a fatigued left shoulder. He returned early Sunday to Kansas City and is scheduled to undergo further examination Monday by club physicians.
“I’m not pleased, obviously,” manager Trey Hillman said before Sunday’s series finale against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. “Players have to think before they do things.
“They’ve got to think about how it’s going to affect the rest of their team, how it’s going to affect their ability to perform and how it’s going to affect the whole group. I’m hopeful that there’s something salvageable for him. We’ll just have to wait to see where it goes.”
Oddly, Bale’s frustration surfaced after what appeared to be an encouraging throwing session earlier in the day. Bale and Hillman each issued positive reports Friday that indicated the pitcher could be ready to rejoin the club during this week’s homestand.
“It actually got better as I got deeper into it,” Bale said at the time. “(My shoulder) started loosening up really well. I’ll play catch days for two days, then throw another batting practice and I should be ready to roll.”
Bale didn’t inform club officials of the pain in his hand until late Saturday. Subsequent X-rays revealed a fracture along side of his hand.
“It’s very unfortunate,” Hillman said. “He’s embarrassed about it. I thought he threw pretty well (Friday) in the simulated game. Out of frustration, he punched a door back at the hotel. Now, he’s got a fractured hand. So now he’s got more time off.”
Bale, 33, made three starts before a “dead arm” forced him to the disabled list after his April 15 outing in Seattle. He was 0-3 and allowed 13 runs and 25 hits in 15 1/3 innings.
The emergence of rookie Luke Hochevar probably meant Bale would return to the staff as a reliever, which could have added to his frustration. Bale lost 25 pounds last winter in an effort to condition himself for a possible starting job.