Josh Jung Out Eight To Ten Weeks Following Wrist Surgery

The Rangers announced earlier in the week that third baseman Josh Jung had suffered a fractured wrist after being hit by a pitch, but a timetable for his return hadn’t been firmly established prior to today. General manager Chris Young tells the Rangers beat that while initial x-rays created some optimism for a six-week timeline, the surgery to repair Jung’s wrist was more involved than anticipated (X link via Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News). The team is now forecasting a timeline of eight to ten weeks for his recovery.

Losing Jung for two-plus months is a severe hurdle for the reigning World Series champions to overcome. An All-Star and the fourth-place finisher in 2023’s AL Rookie of the Year voting, Jung carries a strong .271/.320/.483 slash in 534 plate appearances dating back to last season. He went 7-for-17 with a pair of homers in his first 19 plate appearances of the 2024 campaign despite missing most of spring training with a calf strain that kept him out of the lineup. On top of all that, Jung is considered a strong defender at the hot corner, making him a well-rounded, critical member of the Rangers’ everyday lineup.

Josh H. Smith got the start at third base in the Rangers’ most recent game, and it’ll be Ezequiel Duran drawing the nod there today, the team revealed in announcing its lineup. That pairing could form a platoon to cover third base in Jung’s absence — although the right-handed-hitting Duran is starting against a righty today. Texas also called up prospect Justin Foscue for his MLB debut, and while he’s a bat-first option with more experience at second base, he could factor into the mix at third base in Jung’s absence as well (though for the time being, a straightforward platoon with first baseman Jared Walsh makes good sense for the righty-hitting Foscue).

Texas has been hammered by injuries in the early stages of the season. It was already known that Jacob deGrom and offseason signee Tyler Mahle would be out for the first few months of the season owing to 2023 Tommy John surgeries, but offseason back surgery for Max Scherzer, a spring oblique strain for Nathaniel Lowe and now Jung’s fractured wrist have subtracted key contributors from the club’s roster.

The extended nature of Jung’s absence will make him a 60-day IL candidate at any point the Rangers find themselves in need of a 40-man roster spot in the days and weeks ahead. The eight-week end of the projected timetable would see Jung return just prior to Memorial Day weekend, whereas he’d be out into mid-June if he ends up needing a full ten weeks.

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Title: Josh Jung Out Eight To Ten Weeks Following Wrist Surgery
Author: Steve Adams

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