Barmes out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

The Astros lost their second starting player to an injury this spring when it was revealed Saturday morning that shortstop Clint Barmes would miss four to six weeks with a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal bone of his left hand.

Barmes was hit by a pitch in the hand — the same hand he broke in the Minor Leagues in 2002 — on Friday night against the Yankees in Tampa. The hand will be immobilized, and Barmes will be examined in the next few days in Houston by Dr. Tom Mehlhoff.

“It’s definitely pretty frustrating to hear I’m going to have to miss time,” Barmes said. “After last night, talking to the doctor and going through some of the tests he was giving me, it looked very promising. There was a small fracture in the X-ray, and they’re saying it needs time to heal before we push it and try to get back to doing baseball activities.

“I’m hoping and am going to be trying to get back as soon as possible, but I can only push it as much as they’ll let me.”

The injury means Barmes will begin the season on the disabled list, leaving the Astros searching for another shortstop. They have four infielders in camp — Matt Downs, Angel Sanchez, Anderson Hernandez and Oswaldo Navarro — who were competing for two backup spots. Tommy Manzella, who started at shortstop on Opening Day last year, was optioned to Minor League camp two days ago.

Earlier this spring, starting catcher Jason Castro tore his anterior cruciate ligament and is lost for most of the season.

The Astros traded for Barmes in November to be their starting shortstop. He hit .235 with eight homers and 50 RBIs in 133 games last year for Colorado, and is two years removed from hitting 23 homers.

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