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Diamondbacks’ Carson Kelly suffers fractured wrist vs. Dodgers as MLB’s worst team receives bad news


The Arizona Diamondbacks have the worst record in Major League Baseball, at 20-51, and are riding both, a 15-game losing streak overall and an historic 23-game losing streak on the road. Yet on Saturday night they answered in the affirmative to whether or not things could get any worse. That’s because catcher Carson Kelly suffered a fractured wrist when he was hit by a pitch by Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler, the team announced.

Kelly was one of the rare bright spots for the Diamondbacks this season. He entered Saturday hitting .260/.382/.460 (131 OPS+) with eight home runs in his first 186 plate appearances. Though he wasn’t in the top five of National League All-Star Game voting, his 1.6 Wins Above Replacement (according to Baseball Reference’s calculations) placed him fifth among all big-league catchers.

The Diamondbacks haven’t yet provided a timetable for how long Kelly might miss, but it’s fair to think he’s heading for an extended stay on the injured list. In his absence, Arizona is likely to turn to a combination of Stephen Vogt and prospect Daulton Varsho. Neither seems up to the challenge of replacing Kelly’s production: Vogt has hit .212/.297/.414 (94 OPS+) in 111 plate appearances, while Varsho has batted .183/.270/.331 (62 OPS+) in 159 career big-league trips to the plate. (He has fared better in the minors, and is considered to be a youngster with a bright future.)

The Diamondbacks originally acquired Kelly as part of the return on the Paul Goldschmidt trade to the St. Louis Cardinals. Over three seasons with Arizona, he’s hit .244/.341/.454 (108 OPS+) with 31 home runs in 680 plate appearances. 

The Diamondbacks also obtained pitcher Luke Weaver, infielder Andrew Young, and a competitive balance pick in the 2019 draft that resulted in the selection of outfield prospect Dominic Fletcher.