June 21, 2024

Rangers third baseman Josh Jung fractured his wrist after being hit by a pitch in his fourth game of the season, requiring wrist surgery. Initially, his recovery was projected to take six weeks, but this was extended to 8-10 weeks due to the surgery being more complicated than anticipated, leading to his transfer from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL.

Unfortunately, Jung’s absence will be even longer. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Jung is likely to be out until at least early July, possibly closer to the All-Star break. It will be 10-14 days before Jung knows if he can start swinging a bat. If cleared, it will take another 3-4 weeks of full baseball activities and minor league rehab games before he can be activated from the IL.

The situation with Josh Jung remains quite fluid, and the fact that his timeline has been pushed back twice isn’t promising. There’s also inherent uncertainty with any hitter recovering from wrist surgery, as it often requires additional time for batters to readjust, impacting their ability to control a bat and swing properly. A minor league rehab assignment should theoretically help Jung shake off some rust, though it cannot fully replicate facing Major League pitching.

Rangers All-Star third baseman to be out longer than anticipated

In his first full MLB season, Jung finished fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting, hitting .266/.315/.467 with 23 home runs over 515 plate appearances. His impressive regular season was followed by a .308/.329/.538 slash line and three homers in 70 postseason at-bats, contributing to the Rangers’ first World Series championship. Jung’s emergence as a key player has already yielded one ring, and the Rangers hope he will be a lineup fixture for years to come, despite this unfortunate wrist surgery setback.

As Evan Grant notes, the Rangers haven’t suffered much from Jung’s absence thanks to Josh Smith’s performance. Smith has hit .280/.375/.432 in 152 plate appearances this season, earning more playing time at third base. Despite Smith’s left-handed bat adding to the overall lefty tilt of the Texas lineup, he has provided valuable contributions in Jung’s stead.

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