The New York Yankees have had a fantastic offseason, acquiring National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to add even more home runs to a powerful lineup.
But the team had one not-so-good headline that flew under the radar: Minor league infielder Thairo Estrada was shot in the right hip in January.
Estrada, who was spending time in his hometown of Bejuma, Venezuela, with his wife, was shot during an attempted robbery outside of a local restaurant.
But with spring training only days away, the Yankees announced the prospect is recovering.
Manager Aaron Boone said Friday that Estrada is in “good spirits and expected to play the majority of the season.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone announces that infield prospect Thairo Estrada sustained a gunshot wound in his right hip during a robbery attempt at the end of January. He is in good spirits and expected to play the majority of the season.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 16, 2018
The Yankees’ No. 13 prospect in Keith Law‘s rankings said everything “happened quickly.”
The robbers asked the 21-year-old for money or a phone and searched his pockets, according to ESPN.
When Estrada said he had neither, they shot him in the hip before fleeing. Thankfully, they left his wife unharmed.
“That’s the way it is down there,” Estrada said of Venezuela. “The situation there isn’t good.”
The socialist nation has turned into a full-blown economic and humanitarian crisis, a place where citizens live in danger.
Earlier this month, Pirates catcher Elias Diaz’s mother was kidnapped in Venezuela. She was rescued unharmed.
Athletes and their families in Venezuela have often been targets of robbery and ransoms, but Estrada believes that was not the case this time.
“I didn’t know who they were, so I’m not sure if they knew I was a baseball player,” he said through a translator.
The stunning part is that Estrada didn’t even realize he had been shot until he later “noticed a small hole in his upper thigh and hip area.”
Estrada received surgery and spent three days in the hospital, but the bullet remains lodged in his hip.
“I don’t think it’s going to affect me at all. I feel good,” he said. “I don’t think it will be a problem.”
Boone said there is not a timetable in place for Estrada to fully return to baseball activities, but the promising prospect has been able to conduct limited upper-body work.
Estrada hit .301 with six home runs at Double-A Trenton in 2017.
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