With two out in the bottom of the first inning, Fowler bolted from his position to chase a foul pop by Jose Abreu. He slammed full-speed into an unpadded metal electrical box along a side wall, rupturing his right patellar tendon with an injury so gruesome it brought Joe Girardi, then the Yankees’ manager, to tears.
Fowler would have led off the second inning, but his season had come to a sudden and grisly end. A month later his Yankees’ career ended, too, with a trade to the Oakland Athletics as part of a package for starter Sonny Gray. Though he never expected it, Fowler said, he recognized the opportunity immediately.
“Getting hurt there was a big part of getting traded here,” Fowler said, by his locker at Hohokam Stadium. “But I’m happy for it. I think everything happens for a reason. Hopefully I’ll get my debut here sooner than later so I can go ahead and forget about that day.”