SEATTLE — With Alex Rodriguez headed for the disabled list and possibly out into September, Eric Chavez will get his chance to prove to the New York Yankees that his injury problems are in the past and he can be an everyday position player again.
Rodriguez was being fitted for a splint by Seattle's team doctors on Wednesday morning after he sustained a non-displaced fracture of his left hand when he was hit by an 88 mph changeup from Felix Hernandez in the eighth inning Tuesday night.
For now, the Yankees intend to use a combination of Chavez and Jayson Nix to fill Rodriguez's spot at third, with the possibility of Ramiro Pena providing some extra flexibility for manager Joe Girardi.
Chavez's start Wednesday was his 25th at third base this year and his 65th game overall. He has not played more than 100 games in a season since playing 137 with Oakland in 2006. Since then, he's been slowed by shoulder, back, foot and neck injuries.
A-Rod was hitting .274 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs entering Tuesday's game.
RAMIREZ DEALT TO DODGERS: Former NL batting champion Hanley Ramirez became the latest player to leave the Florida Marlins, traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday with left-handed reliever Randy Choate for right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and minor league pitcher Scott McGough. The 28-year-old Ramirez was hitting .246 with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs.
HAMELS STAYING WITH PHILLIES: Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels signed a six-year contract Wednesday worth an average of $24 million per season that prevents the 2008 World Series MVP from becoming a free agent in November. Hamels is 11-4 with a 3.23 ERA this season and is 85-58 with a 3.38 ERA in seven years in Philadelphia.
RAYS RELEASE MATSUI:Hideki Matsui was cut by the Tampa Bay Rays to make room for newcomer Ryan Roberts, who was in the starting lineup Wednesday night against the Orioles after being acquired in a trade on Tuesday with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Matsui, 38, the 2009 World Series MVP for the New York Yankees, was batting .147 with two homers and seven RBIs. Roberts hit .250 with six home runs and 39 RBIs over 83 games. for Arizona.
RIPKEN'S MOTHER KIDNAPPED:Cal Ripken Jr.'s 74-year-old mother was found with her hands bound in the back seat of her car Wednesday after she said she was kidnapped at gunpoint a day earlier at her home outside Baltimore and driven around blindfolded by her abductor, police and neighbors said.
Investigators do not know the kidnapper's motive and there was no ransom demand for Vi Ripken's release, Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert said at a news conference.
The gunman forced Ripken into her silver Lincoln Continental between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday, police said. She was found bound and unharmed but shaken about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday near her home in Aberdeen, about 30 miles northeast of Baltimore.
When asked if police believe the kidnapper knew who he was abducting, Trabert did not answer, saying investigators don't know the motive or if the suspect has any ties to the Ripken family.
A next-door neighbor said Vi Ripken told him her kidnapper didn't seem to know that her son was the Hall of Fame infielder nicknamed "Iron Man" for playing in 2,632 consecutive games during his 21-year career with the Baltimore.
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