New GM Rick Hahn revealed that Tyler Flowers suffered a hairline fracture in his left hand on the last day of the season after being hit by a pitch from Indians pitcher Chris Perez. After being hit by the pitch in the top of the 9th, Flowers stayed in the game. But he was replaced in the bottom of the 10th by Hector Gimenez, after the game went to extra innings.
Flowers had been expected to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic with Leones de Escogido but that plan has now apparently been scuttled. The soon-to-be 27 year old catcher could have used some additional plate appearances after only getting 153 PA in 52 games. Given the pending free agency of long-time incumbent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Flowers may be handed a starting role - or at least an increased role - if Pierzynski is not retained for the 2013 season.
On the season, Flowers batted .213/.296/.412, essentially showing the low average, high strikeout, good walk, good power repertoire his background suggested he would provide. After being panned for his defense during his prospect days, though, Flowers showed good defensive acumen behind the plate.
Hahn views Flowers as an everyday option:
Based on the history we've had with him he'll be a quality everyday catcher in the big leagues, yes. It's tough for a young kid to have sporadic playing time and continue that development. But defensively he certainly can handle the position. He can get on base some and he's going to have some power. I think he will be a valuable and viable catcher in the big leagues
Given the relatively short recovery time for what is a minor injury, Flowers is expected to be ready for spring training.
Perez is the third Cleveland pitcher to issue a hand injury to a White Sox hitter in the last three years. Frank Herrmann drilled Gordon Beckham on the hand with a fastball on Aug. 30, 2010, leaving a severe bruise that rendered him ineffective or unable to play the rest of the season. On Sept. 8, 2011, Josh Judy broke Brent Lillibridge's fifth metacarpal on his right hand with a high-and-tight fastball, ending his season early.