Prince Fielder was the active leader in consecutive games played, but that streak is coming to an end.
Fielder is going to miss at least the next two games for the Texas Rangers after receiving an injection for a herniated disk in his neck. He had played in 547 straight games.
Fielder has been playing through the injury for the last few weeks, but the team decided this would be the best route under the recommendation of back specialist Drew Dossett.
“He takes a lot of pride in being there for his teammate and playing every day,” Daniels said. “We got to a point where [manager Ron Washington] and the medical team told him, ‘You’re not letting anybody down. We want to get your right.’”
The neck issue helps explain why Fielder hasn’t been the power threat most expected when the Rangers acquired him in a blockbuster trade this off-season.
Fielder, 30, has batted .247 with three home runs and 16 RBIs in 42 games with the Rangers. He has been hitting better of late, but his power numbers have remained down from his career averages.
“Putting two and two together, it stands to reason it would be affecting his swing,” Daniels said. “He described it as a lack of strength in his left arm as the main symptom. For the type of hitter he is, I certainly think that could impact his ability to hit for power.”
The Rangers believe that Fielder will be ready to go when the team opens a two-game series against Seattle on Tuesday.
Daniels said the Rangers were unaware of this problem with Fielder when they acquired him from the Tigers for Ian Kinsler last November. Neither player went through a physical at the time of the trade and Fielder didn’t inform the team that his neck was bothering him until the regular season.
Either way, it’s another hit to a club that has endured injuries all season. The Rangers lead the majors with 13 players currently on the disabled list and 16 DL stints on the season.
The Rangers go into tonight’s game with only two position players on the bench, but will likely add another one prior to Sunday’s game.