Rangers slugger Josh Jung fractures wrist

The defending World Series champion Texas Rangers have already run into adversity this season, as second-year slugger Josh Jung suffered a fractured wrist in Monday night’s 9-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Jung, who was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and a home run in the game, swung at a Phil Maton 87 mph sinker that came in on him and hit his wrist / forearm. Because Jung swung, a strike was called to make it a 2-2 count with bases loaded and one out in the ninth.

Josh Smith replaced Jung and finished the at-bat, drawing a walk and bringing in a run.

“I just feel horrible for him,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said of Jung in a postgame interview. “He’s had such tough luck on this thing as far as the injuries and it puts a damper on this one. … He’ll be back.”

“It’s going to be a little while,” Bochy added in terms of any sort of timeline for Jung’s return.

The third-year third baseman was on a tear in the early going of this season, batting .412 with a 1.415 OPS at the time of his injury. He has two home runs and six RBIs.

Jung finished fourth in American League Rookie of the Year voting last season and may have finished higher had he not missed 40 games, most of them because of a fractured thumb. An All-Star in 2023, Jung finished the season with a .266/.315/.467 slash line, hitting 23 home runs, driving in 70 runs and scoring 75.

Jung batted .308 with three home runs, eight RBIs and 13 runs scored in 17 playoff games in the Rangers’ run to the World Series last season.

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