Tarpon’s Palma continues to come back strong from leg injury
George M. Steinbrenner Field
July 27, 2019
On July 2nd, 2018, an ambulance pulled onto the field at Dunedin Stadium in Florida and rushed Tampa Tarpons outfielder Alexander Palma to a nearby hospital. Moments before, he had collided with a teammate in the outfield and couldn’t put any pressure on his right leg. The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the 22 year old Palma who was having the best season of his career, hitting .299 with seven home runs halfway through the year.
Palma implicated (through a translator) that it was an extremely scary moment; “I was told I could lose my career.”
The moment Palma heard that he might not be able to play again determined him to come back stronger than ever. “I was always focused and did the things I needed to do to come back.” Palma spent many long days at the Yankees Minor League Complex in Tampa, FL rehabbing his leg and working to continue to play the game he loves.
11 months and 28 days after he went on the Injured List, Palma stepped on the field for the GCL Yankees in a rehab game. In his first three games he struck out four times and failed to reach base, but on July 4th, everything began to come together. He went 3-for-5 with three home runs, and four RBI’s. He concluded his rehab assignment with a .431 batting average. He returned to High-A Tampa in mid-July and has been hitting clean-up for them since his activation.
“It feels really good to be on the field and to continue practicing and playing. The priority is for me to be 100%… the rest of it is just playing baseball.” Palma says. “I’m very thankful to the Yankees organization. I’ve been here for seven years and this is one of the best things for me developmentally.”