The starting pitchers for Friday night’s Rockies-Diamondbacks were all too familiar with the scary scene playing out before them. Both Juan Nicasio (fractured C-1 vertebrae) and Brandon McCarthy (skull fracture) have survived and returned from potentially career (and life) threatening injuries after being struck by line drive come backers.
On this night, however, they could only watch helplessly as Arizona's rookie shortstop Didi Gregorius was struck on the right side of the head by a Josh Outman 93 mph fastball and crumpled to the ground.
A very scary minute passed before Gregorius was able to sit up. He then quickly rose to his feet with the assistance of Arizona's athletic trainers and walked off the field under his own power. Both were very encouraging signs, and then came another after the game when manager Kirk Gibson announced that Gregorius had passed his written concussion test.
From the replay it appears the ball caught the ear flap pretty flush, which is precisely why those are so important to player safety. But it may have caught it just low enough on the flap that the edge was pushed into his temple, which caused a contusion and is why Arizona's young shortstop is listed as day-to-day.
Honestly, that's a designation I'm very relieved to see less than 24 hours later, but the D-Backs admit he's not completely out of the woods in terms of a concussion. Further testing will take place this weekend and it's possible he could end up on the new 7-day DL designated specifically for concussions.
As for Josh Outman's role in the beaning, obviously there were no ill-intentions. He just had one get away from him. But that didn't make Gregorious' condition any less precarious initially. It also didn't make the fans at Chase Field any less angry.
The wife of Brandon McCarthy, Amanda McCarthy, had a message for those fans.
@stevegilbertmlb horrible of the fans to boo, there is no way he meant to do that.
— Amanda McCarthy (@Mrs_McCarthy32) April 27, 2013
— Jack Magruder (@JackMagruder) April 27, 2013
I agree completely, but that's always going to be the overwhelming reaction from fans when one of their own gets hit. Just as The Wave will always be their solution to boredom in the sixth inning. Annoying? Yes. But all we can do is educate them as best we can and hope they eventually catch on.