New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was hit in head by a line drive off the bat of slugger Giancarlo Stanton during batting practice on Saturday, a disturbing scene during the team’s first official training this summer.
The right-handed helmet spun and the player collapsed to the ground taking his head at Yankee Stadium. The medical staff immediately ran to Tanaka, who lay down for a few minutes before getting into a sitting position, and assessed his vision. He was then helped to get up and leave the field.
“That’s kind of a freak accident, one in a million chance of happening. When it does, it’s terrifying.” left-hander Jordan Montgomery said, who replaced Tanaka on the mound moments later.
Stanton, who had a broken jaw from a high-pitched high-speed bullet in 2014, observed the motionless marble scene. He was only the third batter to start in front of Tanaka at the start of the session and there was no protective net in place.
The other Yankees players in attendance were standing or kneeling in silence. The music playing through the speakers was turned off and a screen was placed in front of the mound. Pitcher Jordan Montgomery started to warm up and took over about five minutes after Tanaka left.
The Yankees gave an update on the situation in a press release 1 hour after the events: “Tanaka is currently alert and aware, and he can walk by himself. He will be sent to the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for tests.”
Tanaka, 31, was 11-9 with a 4.45 earned average last season. The Japanese have a cumulative record of 75-43 in six years with the Yankees.