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Carlos Beltran suffers two small facial fractures after batting practice mishap

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The injury bug has been eating away at the New York Yankees all season long, but on Wednesday it seemed determined to go for the kill.

Not long after the team announced All-Star pitcher and potential AL Rookie of the Year Masahiro Tanaka was headed to the disabled list and back to New York for an MRI and exam on his right arm, designated hitter Carlos Beltran was scratched from the lineup after being hit in the face by his own batted ball during batting practice.

Typically, batting practice mishaps and injuries come about when a player is in the field and loses track of the ball, but there have been rare instances in which the ball hits the cage itself and comes back at the batter. As YES clubhouse reporter Meredith Marakovits explains, the latter wasn't the case here.

She's talking about the L screen that protects the pitcher, who's usually standing about 45-50 feet from home plate. That means Beltran really had to hit it hard (and in the worst possible spot) to make it bounce back with enough force to knock him out of the lineup. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened, and MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports Beltran didn't walk away unscathed.

The Yankees awful luck continues, though Hoch adds that there were no immediate plans to place Beltran on the disabled list. Still, he expects the team to be cautious about a possible concussion. With the All-Star break four days away and Beltran already relegated to designated hitting duties due to knee and elbow injuries, perhaps they'll decide a full week off will do him some good.

Beltran, 37, is currently hitting .216/.271/.401 with nine homers and 28 RBI. He's in the first year of a three-year, $45 million deal that isn't looking as good as they hoped it would six months ago.

If there was a silver lining to Wednesday, it's that New York defeated the Cleveland Indians 5-4 in 14 innings. But even that isn't great news as they were forced to go through seven relievers to pull it off. Such is life in Yankeeland in 2014.  

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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