OAKLAND, Calif. -- Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Jung will have surgery this week after breaking his left thumb during Sunday's 6-0 home win against Miami, but manager Bruce Bochy remains hopeful the rookie slugger can return this season.
Dr. Donald Sheridan, a specialist, examined Jung in Arizona and determined he needs surgery to stabilize the injury at the base of his thumb. The procedure is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, and he likely will miss at least six weeks.
"I feel awful for him," Bochy said. "He was just having an incredible year. The thing is with him, too, it was workload concern, the load management, how much could you play him? Because he really hadn't been through a season like this and here he was playing some of his best baseball. This guy just had tons of energy, still going and was swinging the bat well, playing a great third base. So I'm sick for him. I really am. And for us, too. You're going to miss a guy like Josh Jung."
The 25-year-old Jung, an AL All-Star, is hitting .274 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs in 109 games, making him a leading contender for AL Rookie of the Year. He was placed on the 10-day injured list and the Rangers recalled infielder Jonathan Ornelas from Triple-A Round Rock.
Texas began the night with a 2 1/2-game lead in the AL West over Houston.
Jung got hurt on a bizarre play in the top of the sixth inning Sunday with runners on first and second and nobody out. Jorge Soler hit a scorching, 110 mph line drive directly at Jung. The ball bounded out of his glove but he grabbed it and started a double play by tagging the bag and throwing to second.
Jung then left the game.
"I went out to the mound, I had no idea he got hurt on that play," Bochy said. "The calmness that he showed picking up the ball, stepping on third ... he didn't grimace, he didn't do anything to make us think that he was hurt."