Locastro injures pinkie on first career CS

April 17th, 2021

The D-backs acquired a center fielder from the Royals prior to Saturday's game with the Nationals. It's a good thing they did, as they went on to lose , the only true center fielder on their roster, to a dislocated left pinkie.

They also wound up losing the game, 6-2, their second straight loss. They’ll look to split the four-game series at Nationals Park on Sunday.

Locastro singled with one out in the third and then was caught stealing thanks to a strong throw by catcher Yan Gomes and a quick tag by Starlin Castro.

While sliding headfirst into second, Locastro jammed his left pinkie into the base. He got up and signaled to the dugout that he was hurt, and his finger appeared to be pointing off to the side.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said that Locastro suffered an open PIP joint dislocation of his pinkie, which required four stitches.

With Locastro headed to the injured list, where he will join Ketel Marte, the D-backs are left without a true center fielder on the roster.

, who had never played the position in his pro career, finished the game there. He made a diving catch and a sliding catch and also dived for a ball that got by him.

The D-backs will work to make sure they have some coverage at the position in time for Sunday. That could be Nick Heath, whom they acquired from the Royals in exchange for Minor League right-hander Eduardo Herrera.

Heath still has to pass through COVID-19 protocols before he's eligible to join the big league roster. The 27-year-old opened the 2021 season at the Royals' alternate training site and was designated for assignment last Wednesday. He made his Major League debut last year with Kansas City and was 2-for-13 in 15 games.

"First of all, I can't say enough about what Pavin did," Lovullo said. "He started playing outfield part-time last year, and now he was playing big league games in center field and making plays and getting good jumps. We got to make sure that [Heath] gets through the intake process. He's doing that right now. But obviously, we'll get somebody in here soon as possible."

Adding insult to injury, the caught-stealing ended Locastro's Major League-record (since 1951) streak of successful steals to open a career at 29, one more than Hall of Famer Tim Raines, who accomplished the feat from 1979-81.

"I got the jump I wanted," Locastro said. "[Gomes] had a good pitch to throw on and a nice tag by Castro. It is what it is. It was a good run. Hopefully now I go for 30 the next run I have here. So that's the goal."

Said Gomes, "I kind of feel bad that I did [throw him out]. Hopefully he has a healthy recovery, a speedy recovery. The kid can run. He’s a good base-stealer. But it really just comes down to, from a pitcher’s standpoint, we put in a lot of picks. We almost picked him off one time. From my standpoint, it’s trying not to do too much. When you’ve got a super-fast runner like that, you want to do something that’s not you and you end up airmailing it. Just trying to stay within yourself and try to make a good throw."

Locastro will have some more tests done on the finger Monday to find out the extent of the damage and get a better understanding for how long he will have to be out of action.

He knew almost instantly that he was hurt badly on the play.

“I looked down at first and saw that [my pinkie] was not facing the right way," he said. "And then I looked down again and got a little worried when I saw some blood."

Locastro slides headfirst at second base and doesn't wear batting gloves at the plate or while running. At one point in his career, he wore a sliding mitt on his left hand. He discarded it, though, after he felt it caused his hand to slide over the base.

Now, he says, he's going to go back to the sliding mitt.