It appears Indians manager and shortstop Lou Boudreau will be unavailable for the Tribe’s opener against the New York Yankees this evening.
The key, four-game series will likely catapult one team ahead of the other in the American League standings. Each are just one-half game behind the Philadelphia Athletics for the top spot. Tonight’s game is expected to have around 70,000 in attendance, but Boudreau may not be on the field due to a sore shoulder.
Unless his shoulder improves, which team physician Dr. Edward Castle is calling a contusion, the Tribe’s leader will likely have to remain on the sidelines. Utility infielder Johnny Berardino will play in his place at shortstop. If he does not play, it will be the first game he does not start all season.
“It’s liable to stiffen overnight,” Boudreau said leaving the Stadium last night. “I probably won’t know whether I can play until I get to the ball park tomorrow.”
Boudreau was injured in the top of the seventh inning yesterday when Indians pitcher Gene Bearden made a low throw to second base to start a double play. Senators’ base runner Gil Coan slid hard into the bag and upended Boudreau.
“All I saw was Coan’s spikes,” Boudreau said. “I thought sure I was going to get cut up.”
Boudreau was not cut, but rolled his ankle in the collision while injuring his knee and shoulder. The entire Indians infield rushed to Boudreau’s assistance and trainer Lefty Weisman administered first aid so he could remain in the game. Boudreau actually turned a double play two hitters later, taking a throw from second baseman Joe Gordon and making the relay to Eddie Robinson at first base. But when he left the field, he sent Berardino to the plate to hit for him in his place the next half inning.
“First I thought it was my ankle,” Boudreau said. “Then when I stood up I thought it was my knee. And then when I tried to throw a ball I found that it was my shoulder. I was worried more about my ankle than anything else.”
X-rays last night revealed no fractures and according to Dr. Castle the knee and ankle injuries will not keep Boudreau on the sidelines, but if his shoulder did not improve he would not be able to throw. Both Boudreau and Dr. Castle believe he will only miss a day of action if he is sidelined.