FORT WAYNE, Ind. – TinCaps second baseman Josh VanMeter underwent a successful surgery on Tuesday morning after fracturing his left fibula during Fort Wayne’s game against Lansing on Monday night at Parkview Field.
“I’m overwhelmed by all of the love and support,” VanMeter said. “Thanks to everyone. You guys don’t know how much it means. This is a minor setback for a major comeback.”
VanMeter, who grew up in nearby Ossian, Ind., was taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne after the game. His surgery was performed by doctors at Ortho NorthEast (ONE).
No timetable has been set for VanMeter’s return. The surgery typically takes about four months of rehabilitation. VanMeter was placed on the disabled list Tuesday, while infielder Nick Vilter was added to Fort Wayne’s roster.
“We value all of our fans and their concerns, thoughts, and prayers for Josh,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “He’s in great spirits and he’ll be back and better than ever. Josh is a team leader and tremendous player and performer. We thank everyone for their notes, texts, calls, and comments. I assure you all that Josh is doing well and will put in the necessary work to play again as soon as possible.”
The injury occurred during the top of the fourth inning. With one out and Lansing’s Rowdy Tellez at first base, Danny Jansen hit a groundball to TinCaps shortstop Franchy Cordero. Cordero fielded the ball and flipped it to VanMeter, who stepped on second base and threw to first to complete a 6-4-3 double play. In the process, Tellez’s slide made contact with VanMeter, leading to an awkward fall and the injury.
“Our family is extremely appreciative for everyone who’s expressed their thoughts and concerns for Josh’s health,” said Greg VanMeter, Josh’s father. “We know he’s in great hands with the Padres athletic training staff and the medical specialists in Fort Wayne.”
VanMeter was selected by San Diego in the 5th round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Norwell High School, where he led the Knights to a 3A State Championship.
“Unfortunately, injuries are part of baseball,” TinCaps manager Francisco Morales said. “But Josh works as hard as anyone in the entire Padres organization, so it’s not even a question that he’s going to come back stronger than before. He’s a great kid with the mental toughness to overcome this.”
After debuting for the Padres in the Rookie-Level Arizona League in 2013, VanMeter was a starting middle infielder for the TinCaps in 2014. He’s the only everyday player in Fort Wayne history from the region.
Last year VanMeter was a key contributor in leading the TinCaps to the Midwest League Eastern Division Championship Series.
“Everything happens for a reason,” VanMeter said. “Everything will be okay.”
The TinCaps continue their season-opening homestand on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m., as they begin a three-game series against South Bend.