2010-08-20 / Sports

Sandoval Injury Puts Cyclones In Tough Spot

By Elio Velez

Rylan Sandoval usually heads out of the dugout prior to the start of a Brooklyn Cyclones game. He goes straight to his shortstop position which he has done 47 times this year.

On Wednesday night, Sandoval was once dressed up in his Cyclones uniform. But instead of heading to the field to help the Penn League McNamara Division leading Cyclones, he was getting accustomed to a new position. Sitting on the bench.

Sandoval was enjoying a fantastic season in which he was hitting .330 with 9 HRs and 29 RBI. It all came to an end on Sunday, August 4 when he was hit by a pitch in a game against the Connecticut Tigers.

“I knew I hurt. It was a little spot right there (on the wrist). It’s hard to tell, it doesn’t have enough meat so I wasn’t sure if it was broken or a bruise,” Sandoval said.

The pain was immediate even as he stayed to play the whole game. Sandoval had an MRI the next and discovered he had multiple fractures in his right wrist.

Even though Sandoval will remain with the club, his injury is a huge blow to the Cyclones. He was an important presence at the top of the lineup with his power and production. His defense at shortstop and his leadership qualities are important qualities Brooklyn will miss on a day to day basis.

While Brooklyn still has the best record in the Penn League at 38-20, the Cyclones offense, while tops in batting and other statistics for most of the campaign, has started to falter.

Third baseman Brian Harrison, who hit 7 HR’s and 22 RBI, was promoted to Savannah to help them compete in their upcoming playoffs. With two big hitter missing in the lineup, Sandoval says the team knows they have to regenerate their bats.

“We still got to get it going a little bit. The last week or two we’ve been struggling a bit,” Sandoval said.

Wilfredo Tovar a 19-year old shortstop was moved from Savannah to replace Sandoval in the lineup. Cyclones manager Wally Backman has raved about Tovar’s defense and his range. Sandoval’s presence and production won’t be easily replaced.

“Sandy brings a total package to shortstop. He made all the routine plays but the one thing he brought is that he’s a leader,” Backman said. “He was the glue to that infield. Losing that personality out there has been big for us.

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