Bocachica was the A's leading hitter this spring.
Spring training camp in Arizona ended one day too late for the Oakland A’s Hiram Bocachica. On the last day of the Phoenix-portion of camp, Bocachica took a Matt Wise pitch off of his right wrist, leaving it fractured. One month later, Bocachica is still mending. In an Oakland Clubhouse exclusive, we check in with the speedy outfielder to see how close he is to returning to the playing field.
Hiram Bocachica arrived in spring training hoping to make an impression. The veteran was signed to a minor league contract in the off-season and was invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee. Despite a slow start of camp at the plate, Bocachica was one of the A’s best hitters during the spring. He hit .444 with a .639 slugging percentage and played flashy defense in all three outfield positions. He was fighting for the last roster spot when he broke his right wrist.
The X-rays revealed a fracture, and it was determined that the injury would not require surgery, just rest. The A’s training staff estimated at the time of the injury that Bocachica would be out of action for six to eight weeks. After he sustained the injury, Bocachica returned to his home in Puerto Rico waiting to get healthy.
“I have been working on my legs to keep in shape, doing a lot of running and whatever else I can do to be ready to go when the bone heals,” Bocachica said.
Four weeks later, the bone is mending and he is inching closer to returning to the diamond. He has begun to move his wrist up and down. He hopes to return to the A’s Phoenix baseball complex in a week to begin his full rehabilitation. Once he arrives in Arizona, Bocachica will work directly with the A’s training staff to rebuild the strength in his right wrist. Once his strength has returned, he will participate in some extended spring training games to get his baseball timing back.
“Hopefully I haven't lost my touch,” Bocachica said with a laugh.
Despite the disappointment of being hurt, Bocachica said he has tried to remain upbeat.
“The injury was really bad timing, but what can you do? These things happen. You just try to work as hard as you can to make the team. I'm glad at least I was able to leave the team with a good impression of me before I got hurt, so hopefully they'll think of me later in the season,” Bocachica said.
Once Bocachica completes his rehab, he is slated to join the Sacramento River Cats. Although Bocachica played in the Pacific Coast League last season with the Tacoma Rainiers, he was recalled to Seattle before the Rainiers made their first appearance at Raley Field. Despite his unfamiliarity with Sacramento, he has heard good things about playing there.
“I’ve heard it is a nice city and I know they always draw a lot of people [to Raley Field]. It is always a big motivation to play in front of big crowds, so it should be fun,” Bocachica said.
Bocachica hopes that his stop in Sacramento will eventually lead to spot on the Oakland roster. During his time in Puerto Rico, he has casually followed the A’s season. Despite the A’s inconsistent start to the season, he thinks the team should soon see better times.
“Anytime you can get off to a slow start and still be playing .500 baseball, it is a good sign,” Bocachica said.