According to every single Phillies beat reporter, Domonic Brown has a broken hamate bone in his right hand. He injured it on his first swing of the game, before getting a hit later in the at-bat.
Ruben Amaro said he will return to Philadelphia and likely see Dr. Randall Culp, the Phillies designated hand doctor, who has operated on the likes of Chase Utley and Cole Hamels (and yours truly).
It turns out a number of baseball players – including David Ortiz, Jim Thome, Jose Canseco, Jay Gibbons, and Eric Hinske- have had the bone removed. Thome actually played three games in the 1996 American League Division Series with a broken hamate.
The hamate, a wedge-shaped bone, is located at the base of the fourth and fifth metacarpals, or, the base of the pinkie and ring fingers. Removal requires a surgeon to enter through the palm side of the hand. The hamate, by all accounts, is a rather useless bone that is usually removed whenever broken or chipped.
That hook is bad news for many baseball players like Nelson, however. It can break on the wrong kind of swing, the wrong kind of pitch. Trainers aren't sure why the hamate breaks, though some say it's because the handles of today's bats are thinner, or because batters often clutch the knob of the bat. Energy from the bat on a swing can sometimes jump to the hand like a lightning rod, and the hook of the hamate sometimes breaks under the strain.
Amaro said Brown will likely miss 3-6 weeks. However, if he requires surgery to have his hamate removed, it looks like he may miss about eight weeks- like Ortiz did in 1998.
A broken hamate is also common in golf. Dr. Culp has actually written about it, saying that there are minimally invasive options available.
Brown was 0-for-15 with a good hand, 1-for-1 with a broken hand. Go figure.