Rookie pitcher Bryan Mitchell exited Yankee Stadium with a bloody face. He returned to the Yankees locker room by game’s end to smiles.
The pitching prospect suffered a nasal fracture in the second inning after taking a line drive to the face.
The horrific scene witnessed an Eduardo Nunez liner strike the righty in the face. The pitcher writhed in pain on the grass at the home-plate end of the mound. Mitchell remained on his knees, blood trickling through his right hand that clutched his face, as the ball caromed into the outfield. Eddie Rosario scored on the single and Kurt Suzuki advanced to third.
“I know they’ve talked about trying to find that protective cap for pitchers,” Twins manager Paul Molitor noted. “They haven’t come up with anything that looks very practical as of yet. The face is pretty much something that’s going to be unprotected, no matter what you do.”
Four MLB pitchers endured shots to the head this season. In Boston, a woman endured life-threatening and ultimately life-altering injuries when struck by a broken bat’s head at Fenway Park earlier this season. A helmeted bat boy who wandered into the on-deck circle died after a swinging bat struck him in the head during a semi-pro game.